Select Page

Illicit cannabis website in PEI leads to conditional sentences for two

Media Partners, Stratcann

This post is presented by our media partner Stratcann
View the original article here.

Two men from Ontario who operated an illicit cannabis website and delivery service in PEI received conditional sentences from a Supreme Court Justice in PEI in May. 

The two men, David Jones and Aaron Jones Braithwaite, aged 48 and 24, respectively, were running what police described as an illicit cannabis delivery company operating online. Charlottetown Police investigated the operation in 2021, following information received about the business. 

Police say they arranged several controlled buys from the website in March and April 2021, including several hundred dollars worth of cannabis, hash, shatter, and edibles. 

Following the fourth controlled purchase from police in April 2021, the two men were arrested. Police seized 1,901.3 grams of dried cannabis; 218 grams of cannabis edibles; 173.2 grams of shatter cannabis concentrates, nearly $2,500 in Canadian currency, and other materials related to the business.   

Unfortunately, it’s been described as a whack-a-mole: We take down one site and two more open up.

Chief Serr, Abbotsford BC Police Chief

The court report notes that Jones had initially believed he could transition his business into a legal, licensed delivery service but has since acknowledged his efforts were not compliant with provincial and federal regulations.

The judge in the case issued a conditional sentence to both men. Jones was sentenced to imprisonment for 18 months to be served in the community, subject to numerous conditions, including house arrest for a period of 14 months, and a curfew following the house arrest and community service. He was also sentenced to probation for a period of two years.  

Braithwaite was sentenced to imprisonment for 14 months to be served in the community, subject to numerous conditions, including house arrest for a period of 11 months, and adherence to a curfew following the house arrest and community service. He was also sentenced to probation for a period of 18 months.

The number of illicit online cannabis sites has only increased following cannabis legalization, with some former brick-and-mortar businesses moving online to avoid enforcement. 

While there have been some notable instances of enforcement against illicit online retailers, law enforcement says it lacks the resources to target them all. 

“Unfortunately, it’s been described as a whack-a-mole: We take down one site and two more open up,” Abbotsford BC Police Chief, Chief Serr told the Globe and Mail at the time.

“If you were to do a simple Google search, you would see numerous sites coming up, and one of the issues for consumers is it’s really difficult to tell online who is a legal seller and who is an illegal seller.”

A popular subreddit geoblocked a forum dedicated to illicit online retailers in Canada earlier this year, although the subreddit is still easily accessible. 

In late 2022, police in BC arrested three people in connection to an illicit online cannabis store. The BC government has also introduced new legislation intended to help them get a handle on illicit online cannabis sales in the province. 

Earlier in the year, BC’s director of civil forfeiture announced it was seeking to confiscate cash and eight properties worth nearly $7 million alleged to be connected to three illicit cannabis websites. 

In August 2022, Edmonton Police Service (EPS) seized a large quantity of illegal cannabis plants and products, along with nearly a kilogram of psilocybin, and other property, following a five-month investigation into an illicit online cannabis retailer.

In 2020, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), along with the Ontario Provincial Joint Force Cannabis Enforcement Team (PJFCET), conducted a raid on an illicit online cannabis retailer.

Nova Scotia RCMP arrested seven people for online cannabis sales network in 2020 as well.

Featured image of products seized by Charlottetown Police in 2021 following their investigation into the illicit online delivery service


This post was originally published by our media partner here.

Grow Up Toronto – May 27-29, 2024
Delta Hotels Toronto Airport & Conference Centre

Grow Up Alberta – Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2024
Edmonton Convention Centre • Edmonton, AB