Keeping Organized Crime Players Out Of The Industry


Health Canada released proposed regulations that gave some instruction for the security measures required of licensed producers under the Cannabis Act. This section of the extensive regulations will work to protect licensees. For example, each company is required to have an organizational security plan in place. It will also help keep the legal cannabis industry separate from organized crime players. This inspired a reaction from Spire Secure Logistics, the only known security firm in the cannabis sector with actual operational experience.

“One of the government’s key premises for legalization was that it would get organized crime out of the cannabis business,” said Spire Secure Logistics CEO Andy Richards, “Anyone who has worked operationally fighting organized crime knows that won’t be easy, but this is an important step in the right direction.”

Andy Richards served 34 years on the police force in Canada before retiring in 2015. As Deputy Chief Constable he specialized as an investigator, supervisor, and manager investigations including those focused on organized crime in the country. Many of his cases were high profile and he is considered an expert witness on the Hell’s Angels. This experience actually landed him in the heart of the dialogue with Health Canada that formed these recreational cannabis regulations. Richards does believe that the proposed regulations are a step in the right direction, but it is also just the first step of a long journey to detaching cannabis from illegal Canadian industry.

The illegal Canadian cannabis market is worth billions of dollars according to Richards. Since organized crime is a large aspect of that industry, it is likely they won’t give up that income without a fight. The worry is that gangs will infiltrate the legal industry using loopholes in laws and regulations, Richards suggests that this problem could be solved if regulators tighten any possible loopholes.

Proposed regulations from Health Canada also cover a rigid approach to impaired driving laws, plans for public education, and more. More details are discussed in the full release from Health Canada.

December 5, 2017

by Cara Wietstock

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Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she put down her budtender hat and dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the cannabis plant fuel the passion in her posts.


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