Cannabis Act Background

Although cannabis possession and production has been legalized it is regulated and it has always remained a criminal offence to produce, sell, distribute, import/export and use cannabis outside of the parameters of both the provincial and federal legislation specifically the Cannabis Act.

A criminal enterprise begins when those involved begin exploiting the Health Canada medical, personal and designate cannabis production regime by diverting cannabis authorized to be grown for medical purposes to the illegal market.

It remains the role of Police to enforce and investigate criminal cannabis incidents and focus on the apprehension and disruption of those who participate in this criminal enterprise.

Police Investigation

In August 2020, Greater Sudbury Police received information of an extensive outdoor cannabis grow operation within Greater Sudbury.  

The Greater Sudbury Police Service Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) began an investigation that revealed the address of the Grow Operation in Chelmsford.  

On September 1, 2020, members of our DEU, Intel, Break Enter and Robbery (BEAR) and Rural Units along with members of the OPP OCEB attended and executed a search warrant under the authority prescribed in section 87 of the Cannabis Act.

Over two days the search of the property revealed a large outdoor grow operation with approximately 1,000 cannabis plants that the property owners did NOT have a licence for. 

Upon searching the residence and outbuildings on the property a sophisticated cannabis resin (hash oil) Extraction Lab was uncovered.

This Extraction Lab posed an obvious danger to the officers, as well as, the public. The OPP Urban Search and Rescue, CBRNE (Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear/Explosive) Response Team and Clandestine Laboratory Team attended along with direct assistance from City of Greater Sudbury Fire Services, the Ontario Fire Marshall, Electrical Safety Authority, Hydro One and City of Greater Sudbury By-Law Enforcement in order to safely dismantle the Extraction Lab.

The total estimated value of the seizure is approximately $2,000,000 (two million) in cannabis and $143,625 in cannabis resin Extraction Lab equipment.

The following items were seized:

  • Approximately 1,000 cannabis plants – value $1,000,000
  • Approximately 104.5 lbs. of dried cannabis – value $261,250
  • Approximately 111 lbs. of cannabis resin (hash oil) – value $610,500
  • Approximately 22.5 lbs. of suspected cannabis butter – value $123,750

The investigation is ongoing, however to date a two men (31 and 63 years old) and a 62 year old woman have been charged with Cultivation of Cannabis, contrary to Section 12(4)(a) of the Cannabis Act with additional charges likely pending. These individuals will appear in Court of November 25, 2020 to answer to the charges.

The Drug Enforcement Unit of the Integrated Crime Section remains committed to working collaboratively with the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau and will continue to focus its efforts on major crime operations that pose a direct and elevated threat to the safety, security and wellness of our community. The Integrated Crime Section aims to identify and disrupt organized crime in Greater Sudbury through innovative technology, collaborative partnerships and traditional Police work resulting in the arrests of those involved, holding them accountable for their criminal activities and the seizure of illegal drugs, prohibited firearms and proceeds of crime.