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Canada Weighs Crackdown on Illegal BC Cannabis Sales

Law enforcement in British Columbia has asked federal authorities to help thwart illegal online cannabis sales in the province.

Full story after the jump.

Federal law enforcement agencies in Canada could start cracking down on illegal online cannabis sales in British Columbia, the Vancouver Courier reports. The potential crackdown comes as B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has asked federal authorities for help reigning in illegal online sales. 

In Canada, online cannabis sales are permitted but in B.C., retailers can only sell through the official government portal. 

“The feds are aware of [black market cannabis e-commerce sales,] and they are illegal, and the feds have indicated from my conversation with them that they will be looking at a number of ways of dealing with this right across the country.” — Farnsworth, to the Courier

Farnsworth indicated that federal agencies can get involved in illegal sales in the province because many of the online retailers accept credit cards which is within the purview of federal authorities. 

Provincial law enforcement agencies are planning to convene a Community Safety Unit that will perform stings on illegal cannabusinesses operating both online and at shops. The CSU will also go to brick-and-mortar locations operating without a license and tell them how to get a license and inform them that they will be shut down without them. 

The Vancouver Police Department has been taking action against illegal cultivators and extraction laboratories but has, so far, not been shutting down illegal retailers. Those stores have been closing primarily due to court decisions.

A recent Statistics Canada report earlier this month found that illegal cannabis products in the nation are nearly half as expensive as their legal counterparts.

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