New Brunswick company fined for operating illegal cannabis store

illegal cannabis store

A company in New Brunswick has been ordered to pay a $20,000 fine for running an unlicensed cannabis store that was raided by authorities in 2022. The charges against two men who were allegedly involved in the business have been dropped.

The raid and the seizure

The unlicensed cannabis store, H.C.A. Wellness Inc., was located in Moncton and was searched by peace officers from the Department of Justice and Public Safety on February 2, 2022. The officers, with the support of the Codiac Regional RCMP, seized more than 15 kilograms of cannabis products, including dried flower, hash, vape pens, live resin, RSO, and edibles. They also confiscated about $10,400 in cash.

The raid was part of the ongoing enforcement of the provincial and federal cannabis regulations, which aim to protect public health and safety and prevent the illegal market from flourishing. The Government of New Brunswick operates Cannabis NB, a network of provincially-run cannabis stores, and also licenses a few privately-run cannabis stores in the province.

The charges and the fine

Following the raid, two men were arrested and charged with possessing cannabis for the purpose of selling, in violation of the Cannabis Act. They were Donald Matthew Scott, 42, of Fredericton, and G. James McEwen, 45. However, on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, the charges against them were withdrawn and a new charge was laid against the company, H.C.A. Wellness Inc..

 illegal cannabis store

The company pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $20,000 by Judge Julian Dickson at the Moncton provincial court. The fine is one of the highest imposed for operating an illegal cannabis store in the province. The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the seized cannabis products and cash.

The reaction and the message

The fine was welcomed by the New Brunswick Cannabis Industry Association (NBCIA), which represents the licensed cannabis retailers in the province. The NBCIA said that the fine sends a strong message to the illegal operators that they will not be tolerated and that they will face serious consequences.

The NBCIA also said that the illegal cannabis stores pose a risk to the consumers, who may not know the quality, potency, or origin of the products they buy. The NBCIA urged the consumers to purchase cannabis only from the legal and regulated sources, which offer safe, tested, and traceable products.

The Department of Justice and Public Safety also issued a statement, saying that they will continue to monitor and enforce the cannabis regulations in the province. They encouraged the public to report any suspicious or illegal activities related to cannabis to the police or Crime Stoppers.

By Oliver Davies

Oliver Davies is a dedicated marijuana and drugs news writer at CBD Strains Only. With a background in journalism and a passion for staying informed about the latest developments in the marijuana industry, Oliver's articles provide valuable insights and analysis. Through his expert reporting, Oliver aims to keep readers up-to-date on the ever-evolving landscape of marijuana and drug-related news.

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