After executing a search warrant on a west Edmonton home on June 4, officers with the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams discovered a stash of drugs and cash they believe belongs to an illegal mail-order operation. In a Thursday press release about the June 4 search, law enforcement said they charged three men with drug trafficking and possession in connection with a west Edmonton drug ring.
Online Mail-Order Cannabis Shops Are Common In Canada
Canada’s medical cannabis patients can order their medicine online and have it delivered to their door. Additionally, provinces that have decided to ban private cannabis businesses may still allow residents to order marijuana through the mail. As with physical retail establishments, operators simply need to have the proper licenses.
Yet in the interstices of the law, unlicensed and unregulated cannabis shops have sprouted up in cities across the country. Law enforcement routinely cracks down on these illicit retailers, seizing products and assets.
Some cities, like Toronto, have even attempted to pass ordinances allowing illicit shops to operate, at least while legalization is pending.
But alongside the “pharmacy” phenomenon, another illicit market has sprung up entirely online and in the post. It doesn’t take much to build a website and turn a home into a makeshift cannabis warehouse and shipping depot.
Cracking down on these illicit mail-order operations presents a challenge for law enforcement. That’s because the physical location of the drugs a website might be selling can be tough to track. Furthermore, illicit sellers often offer more than just cannabis, including cocaine and mushrooms.
Website For Mail-Order Drug Ring Still Operational After Law Enforcement Raids Home
Despite the fact that Alberta law enforcement seized all the drugs, cash, and assets of a west Edmonton home allegedly affiliated with an online mail-order drug ring, you can still hop on the illicit business’s website.
CannabisCanada.Today bills itself as “an online supplier of premium cannabis products.” But its wares included more than just cannabis. According to the CBC, law enforcement agents seized 1.1 kilograms of psilocybin mushrooms and 1.7 kilograms of cocaine.
The website also offered a variety of cannabis products, not just dried flower. Agents seized a variety of concentrates, edibles, and isolate powders from the Edmonton home. They also took possession of $50,000 cash and two vehicles.
Agents say they found packaging and marketing materials associated with the CannabisCanada website. All told, seized assets amount to $618,000 (CAD).
Based on the information law enforcement provided about their June 4th search of a west Edmonton home, it seems the mail order drug ring was doing everything it could to appear legitimate.
On the “How We Operate” section of the webpage, CannabisCanada.Today says that it values personal privacy. It promises, for example, never to take any information about customers except an email and mailing address.
It remains unclear whether Alberta law enforcement was able to collect the illicit operation’s mailing list or track any of its customers. Investigators think the website had been fulfilling orders for less than a year.