Pot farmers show ‘blatant disregard for licenced grow limits’: YORK REGION’S TOP COP

Eight suspected pot farmers face charges after allegedly being caught growing hundreds of more plants than their licences allowed.

And two of the marijuana growers in King Township were busted for the same offences just a couple of months ago.

York Regional Police say an investigation was launched early last month after “concerned citizens” complained about two marijuana grow operations — one on Woodchoppers Ln. and the other on Dufferin St.,

“On Sept. 26, investigators executed search warrants on the properties and found there were licences issued by Health Canada for cannabis to be growing on the properties,” Const. Andy Pattenden said Tuesday.

“On one of the properties there were four licences that allowed for 1,140 plants to be grown,” he said. “On the second property there were three licences that allowed for 1,121 plants to be grown.”

“Investigators found more than 400 plants were being grown over the licenced limits, which represents nearly $400,000 worth of excess cannabis,” Pattenden alleged.

Investigating officers have since arrested eight people who were allegedly working at the pot farms.

Pattenden said two of the accused were previously arrested for the same offences on July 27 at a grow operation on Strawberry Ln.

“These investigations are raising significant concerns, as there is once again a blatant disregard for licenced grow limits,” Chief Eric Jolliffe said. “We are concerned the legalization of marijuana on Oct. 17 will increase overall demand and organized crime is poised and ready to supply that demand.”

“York Regional Police is committed to keeping our community safe and we need our citizens to continue to come forward to report suspected grow operations,” he added.

Investigators believe organized crime is exploiting the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation, which allows designated growers to pool up to four grow licenses per address and turn a single production site into a cannabis farm.

But because these growers are not appointed as licenced producers, police say they are avoiding Health Canada regulations for growing, security and quality control.

The end result is lower cost cannabis that is sold into the black market for high profits, police say.

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Samkeo Vanvilay, 43, of Laval, Quebec, Chi Chung Phan, 36, of Montreal, Quebec, Earl Young, 51, of King Township, Phieovan Young, 50, of King Township, Yue Chang Huang, 50, of Toronto, Doan Phuong, 50, Toronto, Thanh Nguyen, 46, of Bradford, and Jing Jian Kuang, 42, of Markham, are all charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and produce marijuana.

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Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies