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HIGHLIGHTS
  1. Illegal cannabis products packaged with labels made to resemble Health Canada-approved warnings have been discovered in Saskatchewan
  2. Neither Health Canada nor the Royal Canadian Mounted Police would comment on whether similar products are being sold elsewhere in Canada
  3. Cannabis Professional checked with other provincial cannabis regulators and none that responded noted anything similar in other jurisdictions

Sellers of illegal cannabis are making their products look legal.

Complete with yellow warning labels and an octogonal red THC warning with a white cannabis leaf, the illegal cannabis lookalikes have thus far only been discovered in Saskatchewan, according to a report from CBC Saskatoon. Other provinces do not appear to have noticed anything similar.

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), which handles cannabis regulation in the province, said Health Canada and law enforcement have been made aware of the fraudulent labels. Health Canada spokesperson Eric Morrissette declined to say whether the federal agency was aware of any similar products elsewhere in Canada, referring other questions to law enforcement.

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police referred questions to the Canada Revenue Agency, which did not immediately respond. Bill Blair, the federal cabinet minister responsible for enforcing cannabis legalization and a former Toronto Chief of Police, also did not immediately respond to a request sent to his office.

Cannabis regulators in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick all said they were not aware of any illegal cannabis products being sold with fake, legal-looking packaging in their provinces. However, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) spokesperson Heather Holmen said “such activity is definitely of interest and something that AGLC and law enforcement are on the lookout for.”

“This is the first I’ve heard of a phony Health Canada stamp or decal,” said Viviana Zanocco of the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch. “Since this is essentially a fraud perpetrated against that authority, we would have referred it to Health Canada to address.”

- with files from Marcy Nicholson in Calgary

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