Alberta Police Seize More Than 100 Illegal Cannabis Websites

Police in Edmonton, Alberta have targeted more than 100 websites accused of selling unregulated cannabis products.

Full story after the jump.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada police are targeting more than 100 web addresses accused of selling cannabis illegally in the province, the CBC reports. Officials are seizing the web addresses after finding that they were the source for much of the province’s illicit cannabis trade.

In Alberta, only albertacannabis.org is legally allowed to sell recreational cannabis to consumers. The site is run by Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis, the agency tasked with adult-use sales in the province.

Const. Dexx Williams, Edmonton Police Service cannabis compliance officer, says the agency saw “instances of youth” who were in possession of cannabis from the illegal sites.

“This is a unique investigative approach for police, and we believe this will strengthen our evidence against the individuals involved while also directing citizens to legal avenues to purchase their cannabis.” – Dexx to the CBC

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, several Canadian cannabis companies have moved their operations online and closed brick-and-mortar locations. Canada Post has changed its cannabis delivery policies, announcing earlier this week that cannabis-containing packages – which require the signature of an adult – would be dropped off at nearby post offices rather than delivered to the recipient’s home.

Chief Mike Serr, a former Vancouver officer who chairs the drug advisory committee of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said in August that law enforcement agencies have trouble shutting down both illicit online and brick-and-mortar cannabis sellers. He described the process to the Globe and Mail as “whack-a-mole.”

“We take down one site and two more open up,” he said, adding that “it’s really difficult to tell online who is a legal seller and who is an illegal seller.”

In Edmonton, police have also launched a public education campaign to help educate citizens about illegal websites.

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