Nova Scotia

Marijuana dispensary raids of Tasty Budds lead to 69 charges

RCMP arrested 10 people after searching four homes and five Tasty Budds marijuana dispensaries in Nova Scotia.

RCMP say they searched stores in Cole Harbour, Windsor, Lower Sackville, Antigonish and Dartmouth

Tasty Budds Cole Harbour location was one of five raided on Aug. 24. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Ten people are facing a total of 69 drug and weapons charges after RCMP searched four homes and five Tasty Budds marijuana dispensaries in Nova Scotia. 

Police say the group was using businesses to traffic cocaine and marijuana and selling drugs knowing they would be sold again for criminal profit. They were also allegedly selling marijuana without knowing whether the products were laced with more dangerous chemicals, an RCMP news release said. 

"They are misleading the public by pretending to be professional establishments using the guise of the storefronts to commit crime and profit from the proceeds of their crime," Insp. Jason Popik said in the release.

Police seized $10,000 in cash, two guns, three ATMs and large amounts of marijuana, cannabis oil, edibles, shatter and hash. (RCMP)

The stores were located in Cole Harbour, Lower Sackville, Halifax, Antigonish and Windsor. 

During the raids, police seized a loaded handgun, a shotgun, three ATMs, around 30 kilograms of marijuana, 10 kilograms of cannabis oil, 45 kilograms of cannabis edibles such as gummi bears, seven kilograms of shatter, about 250 grams of hash and $10,000 in cash. 

69 charges laid

Nine men and one woman were arrested. They range in age from 25 to 46.

By noon Friday, all but two people had been released. One man is scheduled to appear in Dartmouth provincial court this afternoon and police say they expect to lay charges against a man in custody.

Two men are due in Windsor provincial court Oct. 17. Five men are scheduled to appear in Dartmouth provincial court Oct. 25. A woman is also due to appear the same day in Antigonish provincial court.

In July 2016, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board backed the Halifax Regional Municipality in the denial of a business occupancy permit to Tasty Budds in Cole Harbour. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said unknown chemicals were being used to extract the cannabis resin, and investigators are concerned about the potential health effects on consumers.

"It's scary to think what these chemicals could be doing to people," Clarke said. "We don't know."

Clarke said it's up to the relevant municipalities to decide whether or not to shut down the dispensaries involved.