Organized crime and illegal cannabis

Half of the national high-threat organized crime groups are involved in the illicit cannabis market. These groups operate across Canada in all aspects of the cannabis distribution chain. Their criminal activities may expand beyond cannabis to include heroin, cocaine, guns, and cigarettes.

The RCMP approach to investigating does not change with cannabis legalization. We will investigate organized crime groups that illegally produce or export cannabis and share information with our policing partners.

Future of the illicit cannabis market

We cannot predict how legal cannabis will change the illicit cannabis market. The RCMP is increasing our capacity to gather intelligence on the evolution of organized crime's involvement. We will continue to work with our partners to make sure that cannabis legislation and regulations will reduce criminal involvement.

Profit drives organized crime. As we see with tobacco products, organized crime groups will attempt to circumvent regulatory controls for cannabis to maximize profit. Organized crime's involvement in the market will decrease if good-quality legal cannabis is easily available at a fair price.

All Canadian law enforcement organizations' tools to deal with the illegal production, distribution, importation and exportation of cannabis remain in place.

Unlicensed cannabis distributors

Federal, provincial, and municipal police services share responsibility to enforce the Cannabis Act. Police enforcement relating to unlicensed cannabis distributors may vary between communities. Police agencies will work closely with community stakeholders to identify local risks and prioritize public safety.

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