Castlegar cops bust confused cannabis dealer

Police reminding public that selling cannabis without a licence is stil illegal

Cannabis may have been legalized last fall, but not all cannabis.

Police in Castlegar say they busted an illegal pot dealer operating in Robson on Thursday afternoon.

“It was believed that the residence [near] Castlegar was distributing illicit cannabis as they did not have a business licence,” said Cpl. Jason Olney on Friday.

The bust was conducted by the regional Joint Crime Reduction Unit and local RCMP members.

“Upon search of the residence, a large amount of dried bud cannabis, weigh scales, packaging material and Canadian currency were seized,” Olney said.

One man was arrested under the Cannabis Act and taken into custody for possession for the purpose of distributing cannabis.

But while police have been busting pot dealers for decades, the new rules had everyone a little unsure about the law. Olney said even the accused was a little confused to see the police at his door.

“The comments we had when we went there and executed the search warrant was, ‘It’s legal now, it’s legal now,’” he said. “It seems a lot of people think [because] it’s legal, that it’s free game. But what it came down to is you still have to follow the rules of the [Cannabis] Act.

“You still can’t just distribute on your own,” said Olney. “You have to have a licence.”

Olney said under the new Cannabis Act, the crime is not called trafficking, but distribution.

“It was all new to everybody,” he said. “Even the justice [of the peace] had to look up things as well. Everybody is learning the new Act and what the changes are. Everyone is trying to get used to the change.”

The suspect was released from custody and the matter will be forwarded to Crown counsel for charges.

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