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Red for green: Customers knew cannabis was for sale when grocers wore red shirts

Jun 7, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Three family members held after grocery store weed scheme unravels

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Two men in India whose red shirts identified them as drug pedlars to prospective customers were found with illegal cannabis on June 3.

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The men later told police that potential weed customers would have a heads-up that they were packing, and selling, whenever they wore red shirts or T-shirts, according to the Hindustan Times.

Ultimately, it was a family affair when a 57-year-old grocer, his son, 28, and his son-in-law, 34, were arrested late last week. The son and son-in-law reportedly help out at the grocery store, with the latter currently off work on medical leave, the publication reports.

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  2. The scheme started to unravel after the two men were recently arrested with 20 kilograms of cannabis. / PHOTO BY GLETI / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

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Officers with the Special Task Force (STF) on drugs arrested the son and son-in-law while they were waiting for customers, notes The Times of India. Police recovered about two kilograms of weed from the two-wheeler the men had been using and later seized 30 kilograms more from the grocer, per the publication.

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It is alleged the two men also told police officers that the grocer “had sent them to supply the contraband.”

The Hindustan Times reports the grocer had previously been convicted in connection with another drug-peddling case and is currently facing trial with respect to yet another.

While every state in India has its own law regarding cannabis possession, sale or consumption, The Daily Guardian reports the central law that can be referred to in all states is the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

That law includes “a blanket ban on cultivation of cocoa plant, opium poppy or cannabis and on manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, warehousing, use, import or export,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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“Violations are punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of 10 years and a fine. Lesser punishments are mandated for illegal possession in small quantities for personal consumption,” the department reports. “No distinction is made between a user or addict and a pusher or trafficker and little distinction is made between the kingpin and the small-time pusher at sentencing,” it adds.

The Hindustan Times reports that police are currently attempting to determine the supplier of the drugs, with the Times of India adding that a case, at least against the grocer, has been registered.

Food stores and illegal cannabis are no strangers.

According to WAVY TV 10, two men in the U.S. were taken into custody earlier this month after the police discovered and seized approximately 100 kilograms of cannabis that the duo had delivered to a grocery store in Norfolk, Vir.

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Last summer in Bavaria, a grocery chain store there was raided and product confiscated because of CBD cookies, High Times reported at the time. The chain also got the once-over from police because of about 20 other products, including “cannabis energy drinks” and “hash brownies.”

And last year in Ontario, York Regional Police issued a warning after more than $10,000 worth of cannabis products were seized from a convenience store in Markham, Ont. Although edibles are allowed for sale in Ontario, they must be provided by a licensed retailer and purchased only by those 19 and older, according to CTV News.

It is also not the first time a family connection has ended in familial arrests.

Other such incidents included two brothers in their 30s who used EncroChat to supply large quantities of Class A and Class B drugs across Merseyside, U.K., a 48-year-old woman and her 23-year-old accomplice who tried to get cannabis and meth to the woman’s son while he was in prison and a 56-year-old woman and her son who got nicked for having $10,200 worth of weed in their home.

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