Lego-shaped cannabis edibles seized during raid at Timberlea business
A man is facing charges after the RCMP seized a large quantity of cannabis and cannabis-related products -- including some police say could appeal to children -- from a business in Timberlea, N.S.
Police executed a search warrant at Timberleaf Alternative Medical Society on St. Margaret’s Bay Road Monday morning and arrested an employee at the scene.
Among the items seized were marijuana edibles, including brownies, cookies, and Lego-shaped blocks.
"They're not labelled properly and they also appear to be targetting youth or younger people," said RCMP Cpl. Lisa Croteau. "Some of the products ... could be seen as for young children as just a normal candy or toy or something that they may try to ingest and it's just a concern for us because it could be dangerous to their health."
In an initial news release, the RCMP said the edibles contained 500 mg of TCH, which they said was a strong enough dose to kill a child.
However, in a second news release, Croteau said the initial release “included references and opinions that are outside of the scope of Nova Scotia RCMP.”
“We have taken measures to address the liberties that were taken in the release and apologize for the confusion it may have caused,” said Croteau.
Croteau told CTV Atlantic she only saw Lego-shaped edibles containing 250 mg of THC, but said some blocks could have contained more.
Health Canada says cannabis poisoning is “not generally known to be fatal,” but it can be “very unpleasant and potentially dangerous, sometimes requiring emergency medical attention and, in some cases, hospitalization.”
Health Canada says children and pets are at a greater risk of cannabis poisoning; symptoms may include chest pain, rapid heartbeat and vomiting, among others.
Health Canada says it is also easier to be poisoned by edibles or drinks, compared to smoking or vaping.
The only legal seller of cannabis in Nova Scotia is the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, or distributors approved by Health Canada.
Cannabis edibles are currently illegal to sell in Canada.
In the initial news release, police alleged the cash-only business has made almost $1 million since Jan. 1, but has spent only $50,000 in expenses, without paying any tax.
“A small number of people are making extreme profit and operating under the radar of Canada Revenue Service,” it read. “Most of these profits leave Nova Scotia and don't support our local economy.”
Police also said illegal businesses may claim to sell a better quality product at a lower cost than at the NSLC, but that the products aren’t subjected to any quality control, and many are made using dangerous processes that involve “harmful, toxic and volatile solvents.”
“If you buy cannabis from illegal sellers you are breaking the law, you are supporting organised crime and you are placing your health at risk,” said police in the initial release.
Police also initially said two men were facing charges under the Cannabis Control Act. Croteau confirmed only one man is facing charges, of operating an illegal cannabis storefront, although she expects more people will eventually be charged.
The man is due to appear in Halifax provincial court at a later date.
Police say the owner of the building was given formal notice to end the lease agreement with the business, adding that property owners who lease property to businesses operating illegal storefronts also risk being fined.
As for the initial news release, Croteau said the RCMP is looking into why it was sent.
“We’ll deal with it to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Croteau told CTV Atlantic. “We don’t want anyone’s personal opinion or information that is not normally released in a release … we have a certain format that we follow and it wasn’t followed.”