Edmonton man accused of running illegal cannabis grow-op

Some of the cannabis, edibles, psilocybin mushrooms and cannabis manufacturing equipment seized from a home in north Edmonton on Oct 25, 2019. . Edmonton Police Service

While marijuana has been legal in Canada for more than a year now, there are still rules surrounding how much you can grow on your own — and an Edmonton man has been accused of breaking those rules by running an illegal cannabis growing operation.

READ MORE: This is how you grow marijuana at home

On Friday, Oct. 25, police searched a northeast Edmonton home near 157 Avenue and 80 Street in the Mayliewan neighbourhood.

Inside, police said they found a grow-op that included about 130 viable cannabis plants, as well as dried cannabis, illegal cannabis edibles, psilocybin (magic) mushrooms and cannabis manufacturing equipment.

“Just like alcohol, cannabis is a regulated product,” EPS Cannabis Compliance Officer Cst. Dexx Williams said. “If you’re going to produce it at home, you need to comply with all municipal, provincial and federal requirements.”

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The total seizure is estimated to be worth more than $148,000, police said.

READ MORE: Hundreds of cannabis stores in Alberta but users still turning to black market

Williams said those who don’t follow the rules face criminal and provincial charges, along with “substantial financial setbacks in order to bring your property into compliance.”

It is legal to grow up to four plants per household for personal use. However, in order to legally grow more for medical reasons or to grow cannabis that is intended for sale, growers must apply for a license through Health Canada and adhere to all municipal and provincial regulations, such as development permits and safety codes.

READ MORE: Almost a year after legalization, why do legal sellers offer home growers so little?

Ryan Paton, 35, is charged with possession of a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, as well as possession of cannabis for the purpose of unlawful distribution and cultivate or propagate more than four plants in a dwelling house, both charges under the federal Cannabis Act.

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