January 25, 2018 5:33 pm

Hamilton Police say dealing with 46 illegal cannabis dispensaries can be ‘frustrating’

Three people face charges after the latest police seizure of THC based products at an illegal dispensary in Stoney Creek.

Hamilton Police Service

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.

READ MORE: Hamilton politician seeks to protect local taxpayers as marijuana is legalized

Superintendent Ryan Diodati says executing search warrants, and the seizure and storage of evidence related to marijuana is a time-consuming process.

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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.”

READ MORE: $81 is the average tax increase as Hamilton’s 2017 budget is approved

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.

READ MORE: Ontario government outlines first 14 cities to host cannabis shops

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%.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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