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Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks to media in Victoria, B.C., on Feb. 5, 2018.

CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

British Columbia’s public safety minister says an enforcement team has begun investigating and closing unlicensed marijuana stores around the province.

The 44-member team was announced in October when pot was legalized across Canada.

At the time, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the team was not expected to get rolling until more licensed pot stores opened.

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He says the team is not yet at full strength and Farnworth can’t say how many investigators are on the job, but he believes there are enough to “have a visible profile.”

He also says investigators won’t immediately be shutting down unlicensed pot stores but will instead inform operators about new licensing regulations governing marijuana sales.

“I think, right now, what they have been doing is what you could call education, visiting illegal operations and letting them know (the team) is up and running,” says Farnworth.

The unit is “starting the work that they need to be doing,” he says.

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