Legal cannabis holds no special attraction for organized crime: memos


OTTAWA — An internal government memo says federal officials see no “strong pull factors” for organized crime to invest in legal cannabis over any other industry — despite allegations shady money is already tainting the business.

The government notes say public-safety and health officials do not see criminal infiltration of the booming business as a major threat.

The memos, disclosed through the Access to Information Act, show officials from nine federal agencies became seized with the question early this year after media reports said questionable money was supporting legal medicinal marijuana enterprises.

The internal notes say the use of offshore bank accounts for investing is not illegal, nor was there evidence such sources were being used by organized crime to profit from the legal cannabis sector.

The Trudeau government recently legalized recreational cannabis use with the aim of denying criminals hefty profits from the illicit pot trade.

The internal notes say the legal industry’s ability to raise capital should be seen as a positive sign, so long as the money comes from legitimate sources.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

The Canadian Press