Senior gardener granted conditional discharge for illegal cannabis cultivation

Growth op

A 65-year-old gardener who worked at a licensed cannabis operation that skirted regulations has avoided a criminal record, reports Niagara Falls Review . Xin Liu had been working at a legal grow site in Welland, Ont., but an inspection of the property revealed that it was 50 plants over its limit and that plants that had been licensed for indoor cultivation were being grown outside. Liu pleaded guilty last week to a charge of cultivation of cannabis and was granted a conditional discharge. Norfolk County planner sounds alarm on medical cannabis growers: ‘There is a loophole … and they’re exploiting it’ So you want to grow your own cannabis? Here’s the gear you’ll need What I learned trying to grow cannabis for the first time Liu’s attorney, Donna Pledge, argued that her client had only looked after the plants and wasn’t involved in the business operations. A farmer who had worked in rice fields in China, Liu had found work on vegetable farms since arriving to Canada in 2012, and his experience led to an opportunity to work with a licensed cannabis grower. The Ontario Provincial Police’s cannabis enforcement team reportedly received a tip from the public in June 2019, alerting officers to the possibility of an illegal grow-op. Police executed a search warrant on the property and discovered 350 plants, 300 of which were permitted. Four valid licences accounted for the number of plants, but the regulations had stipulated that the plants be grown indoors. According to Liu’s attorney, the operators had applied to Health Canada for a licence to cultivate cannabis outdoors and received it just a month or two after the raid. “Ultimately, this was a legally licensed marijuana grow,” Pledge argued, adding that the operation is still running. Had he been charged, Liu and his family…

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