The focus was on enforcement challenges related to 46 illegal cannabis dispensaries as the Hamilton Police Service presented its 2018 budget request to city council.
The proposed $161-million budget represents a funding increase of 2.45 per cent.
Superintendent Ryan Diodati says executing search warrants, and the seizure and storage of evidence related to marijuana is a time-consuming process.
He said it’s “frustrating” because “more often than not” the illegal dispensaries are reopening with stocks refilled “either the same day or the very next day” after police have gone in and cleaned them out “of every THC based product in there.”
The most recent raid happened this week at Wellness Glass Company on King Street in Stoney Creek.
Investigators seized more than 14 pounds of processed marijuana, along with a large quantity of THC based products, edibles and oils.
Three adults were arrested and are facing several drug related charges. They were released on a Promise to Appear in court on March 7.
Diodati stresses that drug culture is an underlying theme related to last year’s 9.2-per-cent increase in violent crime in Hamilton and he notes that the people responsible for investigating dispensaries are also responsible for investigating opioid-based drugs like Fentanyl and Carfentanil.
The Hamilton Public Library has also submitted its almost $29.9-million budget request at city hall, seeking an increase of 1.8%.