Police in Saanich have spent the last week raiding a warehouse that was home to a black market edibles operation responsible for selling infused cannabis products to customers across Canada.
CTV Vancouver Island confirmed last night in an evening news report that police officers first taped off the building in the Glanford area of Saanich last Wednesday (May 2). The warehouse is located in the same building as a recycling depot.
While Saanich police haven't confirmed any details about the operation or if charges will be laid, it is widely believed that the business in question is Mota Cannabis Products, a company specializing in cannabis-infused food. Its website lists a variety of products including candies, chocolates, cookies, beverages, topicals, concentrates, tinctures, and pet products.
Reports say the company's website was shut down following the raid. The site still appears to be up, but visitors can no longer make purchases.
Individuals using the neighbouring recycling depot told CTV they had no idea the warehouse was being used to make edibles.
Signs of a disturbance to Mota's business appeared on social media as early as April 28, when a post referencing the company on Facebook said it had been forced to close.
The Straight confirmed with the administrator of that page that the following message was sent from the Mota Cannabis Products page on April 29:
"We regret to inform you that Mota has been forced to close over the next two weeks. We are very sorry for the delay in communication and extremely saddened to be letting our customers down in this way. We are working extremely hard behind the scenes to reopen as soon as possible."
Other Facebook comments suggest that the raid was initiated by the Vancouver Island Health Authority. In March 2017, it ordered the City of Victoria to ban the sale of edible cannabis products in dispensaries.
Despite the raid, Mota's Facebook and Instagram accounts have been updated within the last 24 hours, but post on neither platform give any indication as to why Mota's website is no longer up and running.
The Straight reached out to Mota for comment but is still awaiting a response.
While the federal government does plan to create legislation around cannabis edibles, it's said it will wait up to one year after the implementation of Bill C-45 to create provisions specific to both the manufacture and sale of edibles and cannabis concentrates.
As it stands, only registered medical patients can legally consume edible cannabis products, which are currently limited to oils and capsules.More