Several members of an Ontario family and their associates raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits from the “egregious exploitation” of Canada’s medical marijuana laws, police alleged Thursday.
Authorities say the group, based in Hamilton, obtained “several dozen” licences to produce marijuana under the guise they were for medical purposes when, in reality, they were running a profitable marijuana grow operation whose distribution network stretched to Newfoundland.
A spokesman for Health Canada, which distributes the licences, said Thursday cases like the one in Hamilton are a reason why the federal government is looking to phase out the distribution of licences for home production.
Stephane Shank said he couldn’t say how many people have been caught defrauding the system but said “the government is concerned that the current medical marijuana access program is open to abuse.”
Over the past decade, the number of Canadians authorized to possess marijuana for medical purposes has ballooned to over 28,000. More than 21,000 have been issued licences to produce small amounts for themselves or for others.
The rest get their marijuana couriered to them from a government distributor.
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Douglas Quan