Montreal RCMP announced Tuesday that they have cracked an international drug ring that distributes marijuana seeds on the Internet.
Seven people were arrested in connection with the operation of the company Heaven's Stairway, which used various sites with names such as cannabisworld.com and overgrow.com in the importing, exporting and trafficking of cannabis seeds over the Internet.
As well, the RCMP seized 200,000 seeds.
Staff Sergeant André Potvin, chief of operations for the Montreal drug section of the RCMP, said the marijuana seeds were supplied in bulk from countries including New Zealand and Holland, and then shipped out in small amounts to customers across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. The centre of the operation was Montreal.
"This is a major and large-scale operation," he said.
"It was centralized, very organized, and active around the world."
Police said the websites run by the Internet company also included tips on how to grow the seeds and how to avoid police.
All of those arrested live in Montreal, with the exception of one suspect, who lives in Ville Saint-Laurent. They face a total of 49 charges and if convicted, could spend up to 10 years in jail.
"The organization processed approximately 30 orders of cannabis seeds a day averaging $100 each. The seeds were sent to clients by regular mail," a statement from Montreal RCMP said.
The seeds produced high-grade marijuana and sold for $7 to $10 each. They were usually mailed out in shipments of 10 to 15 seeds per package, and destined for grow operations, Staff Sgt. Potvin said.
The police first made seizures in January which netted them a big haul.
The total amount of seeds seized during the searches could have made possible the distribution of 42 million joints on the street, police said.