11,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized by Police in Kaslo, B.C.
A small village in B.C. was recently busted by the RCMP for having a large underground grow operation, Global News reports. The village of Kaslo, located in the West Kootenay region of B.C., is home to only 1,000 people. Apparently, this seemed like a great location for illegally growing 11,000 marijuana plants.
B.C. is no stranger to illegal marijuana, especially when it comes to the grey market operating in plain sight. Whether these plants were intended to make their ways on to the shelves of illegal dispensaries or directly to the streets is unclear.
However, it serves as a reminder that illegal marijuana is still a serious concern.
An Accidental Discovery
Unlike most drug busts – which typically involve suspects or locations already under suspicion – this discovery was completely accidental. Global News explains:
“An industrial accident investigation last month led to police seizing 11,000 marijuana plants from “an extremely large grow operation” in B.C.’s Southern Interior, RCMP say. The bust occurred following a workplace accident near Kaslo…”
The accident involved a 46-year-old man injured when a boom crane collapsed on August 26th. Upon learning that there might be criminal negligence involved, the RCMP sealed off the area and obtained a search warrant.
Aside from discovering attempts to tamper with B.C. Hydro wires, police accidentally stumbled upon the 11,000 plants.
Interestingly enough, not all 11,000 plants were necessarily illegal. According to an RCMP press release:
“Multiple legal licences to grow marijuana were associated to the address, but the legal allowance was significantly below the amount located and seized.”
Global News does not specify what the actual limits were. However, authorities are considering criminal charges under both the Criminal Code and the Cannabis Act.
A Somber Reminder
This discovery is a stroke of luck for law enforcement and the legal market, but it also shows that legalization still has a long way to go.
The situation proves just how easy it is to set up an illegal grow operation virtually anywhere. What these individuals do not realize is that their missions to line their pockets cause a lot of damage.
Legalization was supposed to alleviate the waste of police resources associated with prohibition. It was also intended as a way to provide safe, regulated marijuana for public consumptions.
Illegal growers like the ones in Kaslo – and everywhere else, for that matter – undermine these efforts in pursuit of their own selfish interests.
On the other end, the demand for cheaper marijuana will continue to fuel the demand for black market growers. This basically means that culpability lies with the consumers, just as it does with the providers.
WeedAdvisor’s Continued Support for the Legal Marijuana Industry
WeedAdvisor is always relieved when illegal operations like the one in Kaslo are discovered and shut down. But it is also disappointing.
This forces us to acknowledge that the legal cannabis industry still has an uphill battle ahead, despite its notable gains over the past few months.
Hopefully, law enforcement and federal regulators will continue to keep the pressure on and shut down these operations as quickly as possible. In the meantime, however, it is equally important for the general public to fight the black market with their wallets.
Every dollar spent on legal marijuana is one dollar less that goes to underground growers and dealers.