Jail for British Columbia Man After Growing 10,000 Plants in Residence

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Jail for British Columbia man after growing 10,000 plants In residence The judge rejected any consideration of the man’s medical use of cannabis, which he found “minor” and “incidental”

A past medical ailment was not enough to keep a Supreme Court of British Columbia judge from imposing jail time on a Maple Ridge man who was found growing almost 10,000 marijuana plants in the basement of his family residence. The man was sentenced to 9 months, to be served concurrently and followed by probation after he was convicted of production of marijuana and possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. The case shows that while Canada is about to legalize the recreational use of cannabis—including the cultivation of up to four plants—a black market is thriving that may be hard to contain.

Romeo Serban was charged alongside his wife after more than 9,700 plants were located, although a judge found the wife not guilty because her testimony showed that she had no “complicity” in the operation. In the proceedings, the Crown sought forfeiture of the house, which was lived in on the main and upper floors by the man’s family. The wife fought forfeiture of her interest in the jointly-shared house, and in the end Justice Verhoeven ruled that the Crown could only take partial forfeiture of the property.

Mr. Serban was purported to have turned to medical marijuana after finding himself in a car crash, although the judge noted that no medical evidence was submitted by him. And Justice Verhoeven found that his use of medical marijuana was “minor” and “incidental” to what was clearly found to be a large, commercial enterprise. “There is no rational link between the personal use of marihuana for pain relief and the development of a large and sophisticated  grow operation, which was obviously designed to produce great profits,” the judge wrote.

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