Police arrest man allegedly using drone to drop contraband at Ontario jail

A 20-year-old man is facing charges after allegedly trying to smuggle contraband into an eastern Ontario jail.

Provincial police say it allegedly happened Thursday morning near the Quinte Detention Centre in Napanee, Ont.

OPP say they got involved after receiving reports of a suspicious man on private property near the correctional facility.

Officers arrested the man and allegedly seized a large drone, as well as what they describe as a significant quantity of tobacco and cannabis.

They allege the man planned to use the drone to smuggle the goods into the detention centre.

The man from Loyalist Township, Ont., is charged with possession for the purpose of distributing cannabis as well as a trespassing offence.


Ontario is picking up the pace with cannabis retail stores, but staying in the game is no easy task

In December 2018, anticipating a cannabis retail boom in Ontario, aspiring retailer mihi held leases on 42 empty locations across the province.

Locked into contracts, the company was ready to be among the province’s first retail operators. That same month, however, citing a cannabis supply shortage, the Ontario government did something it had maintained it would not do. It capped the number of retail stores at 25, and introduced a much-maligned lottery system to allocate those licences.


Ontario Cannabis Store distribution centre opens in Guelph

A brand new facility responsible for receiving and distributing Ontario's cannabis has opened its doors in Guelph. 

While the facility has not been formally announced, Ontario Cannabis Store has already started recieving product, according to Daffyd Roderick, a spokesperson for the store. 

Roderick said the Ontario Cannabis Store sold 14 million grams of cannabis to Ontario's licensed retailers last quarter, flowing through their current distribution centre in Oakville.

The new distribution centre will be "the logistical hub that supports the cannabis sector in Ontario," Roderick said.


Fire breaks out at a barn in Northumberland County revealing an illicit cannabis grow-op

The OPP has confirmed that a barn fire in Ontario’s Northumberland County was housing an illicit weed grow-op.


Province moving its Ontario Cannabis Store distribution centre to Guelph

Guelph will soon be home to the provincial distribution centre for legal cannabis.

The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) distribution centre is relocating to Guelph from its Oakville location as the cannabis industry rapidly grows. 

“We have begun the process and we are looking to have the Guelph facility operational in early October,” said Daffyd Roderick, senior director of communications and social responsibility for OCS. 

“It will be running the exact same service. It’s just a much larger facility.”

Exact location and size of the facility were not revealed.


Ontario regulator to ramp up number of pot shop licenses it issues this fall

Ontario is on pace to see 40 new pot shops licensed this fall as the province’s cannabis retail store regulator announced it is doubling the number of licenses it issues. 

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), responsible for regulating cannabis retail stores in the province, announced it will double store authorizations at the government’s direction. So far, the AGCO issued 164 licenses, 150 of which have opened shop in Ontario. Some 900 applicants are currently waiting to open cannabis retail shops.

In Toronto, Ontario’s capital and largest city, over a hundred pot shops are waiting to secure approval, while 53 have already opened. 


Cannabis interim by-law moving forward

Councillors in Prince Edward County are looking to have a little more control over cannabis production facilities in the municipality.

An interim control by-law for the entire municipality that prohibits the expansion or creation of cannabis production facilities was approved during a committee of the whole meeting at Highline Hall in Wellington on Thursday.

Planner James Griffin couldn’t tell councillors how many current operations are located in Prince Edward County as Health Canada does not have to give notice to the municipality when they issue a licence.

Griffin did note staff were in conversation with Health Canada with neighbouring municipalities discussing odour controls, setbacks and what municipalities can control during the meeting.


Calling for tighter cannabis operation rules

Hastings County has joined with Lennox and Addington counties to pressure Health Canada for stronger rules governing cannabis grow operations.
The wardens of the two counties, Warden Rick Phillips and Warden Marg Ibester have signed a joint letter to the federal and provincial governments calling for tighter controls over cannabis operations.
Warden Rick Phillips announced Thursday that there will be a chance to explain the concerns when officials from Hastings County, Quinte West and Belleville meet next week with officials of Health Canada.
The letters to provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark and Minister of Health Canada Patty Hajdu emphasize the importance of municipal rules being followed.

'It's very frustrating': Ontario pot shop hopefuls fume at licence lag

After spending nearly $400,000 to build and prepare a new cannabis store in Brampton, Ont., Mirna Diab doesn't know if she and her family can wait until next August to get the paperwork needed to open its doors. 

"Put yourself in our situation," Diab, who led all construction and development of their HiBuzz cannabis store while her husband Charbel handles administrative duties, told BNN Bloomberg in a phone interview. "My husband can't sleep at night and we've spent our life's savings. Now that we've spent everything we have, [the provincial regulator] told us we need to be on the waiting list for almost a year. It's very frustrating." 


Garden greenery gone: Backyard bandits making off with cannabis crops in small Ontario town

The Hanover Police Service is issuing a warning to sticky-fingered, shovel-wielding types who are looking to steal personal pot plants from backyards in the community.

“If you are so inclined to prowl around at night & steal anything plan on a @norms1947 breakfast on us topped off with a court date in Walkerton,” Chief Christopher Knoll of the Hanover Police Service tweeted this week.

The tongue-in-cheek invite to Norm’s Restaurant — a local restaurant where, apparently, The Legend Lives — follows two recent incidents in which thieves made off with marijuana plants from backyards.


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