Article by Growth Op
A months-long police probe into a large-scale illegal grow-op in the southern Ontario city of St. Catharines has potted cannabis estimated to be worth $34 million.
Believed to be the largest cannabis grow ever investigated by the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS), an investigation by its Guns, Gangs and Grows Unit and the Opioid Enforcement Unit was launched in May after members of the public voiced their concerns and suspicions about what was happening at the location.
A search warrant executed this past Tuesday. “Police entered the properties and immediately observed a well-organized and large-scale cannabis growing operation,” notes a police statement. In all, approximately 17,200 plants in various stages of growth were found growing at the operation, located in the northwest area of St. Catharines.
Eleven people on site were also found, although one was not immediately identified. Police allege that the people — who were from St. Catharines or the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), as well as one from New York — were working on and tending to the plants.
Those who have been identified were arrested and later charged with unauthorized production of cannabis, contrary to the Cannabis Act. All but one of the accused have been released from police custody and are set to appear in court on Sept. 4.
“Illegal operations such as these pose several concerns and potential issues for the community and nearby residents; including offensive odour and the potential for violence,” notes the NRPS.