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Possible Illicit Cannabis Racket Uncovered in Coffs Harbour

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Possible Illicit Cannabis Racket Uncovered in Coffs Harbour

Police from the Coffs Clarence LAC have uncovered a possible illicit cannabis racket in Coffs Harbour.

Officers from the command's Target Action Group executed a search warrant at a house in York Street, Coffs Harbour around 9am on Thursday.

The occupant, a 36 year old man, didn't answer the door but was located in a bedroom of the house after police gained entry.

A search of the premises allegedly located three sites used for the enhanced indoor cultivation of cannabis, where a total of 16 cannabis plants grown in this manner were seized.

In addition, a further 30 small outdoor cannabis plants were located growing in and around the house. Police also seized 16 grams of loose cannabis leaf along with other drug cultivation and supply paraphernalia.

During the search, Police also discovered 4.2 kg of green vegetable matter which is believed to be a mixture of cannabis and other herbs and spices.

According to Police, "These suspected cannabis mixtures are alleged to have been stored in separate containers based on their 'flavours' such as spearmint etc".

It is suspected that these mixtures are used as an administration method for the cannabis as a tea drink, as some had been bagged in white cloth which could be immersed into water. These mixtures will be sent for analysis to confirm its nature.

The seized drugs, including the tea mixtures pending analysis are expected to have an estimated potential street value of over $167,000.

The man was arrested at the scene and conveyed to Coffs Harbour Police Station, where he was subsequently charged with two counts of cultivating cannabis and one count of possess prohibited drug.

He was granted conditional bail to appear at the Coffs Harbour Local Court on 13 November 2017.

Investigations are ongoing.

Coffs Clarence crime manager, Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said, "We know that cannabis can be added to other foods, and overseas in areas where cannabis is legal, it is added to soft drinks and lollies, but this is a first where I have seen it being allegedly prepared as a tea drink".

"What it shows is how dangerous this drug is, and the alleged lengths that those that peddle this life long debilitating drug into the community will go to. Particularly if the mixtures turn out to be, in fact, cannabis.

Det Insp. Jameson said, "the reality is that we have been able to disrupt this cannabis racket here locally, and I'll say to those that continue to use cannabis and support those that profit off death and misery in the community, grow up. You are not teenagers experimenting anymore, seek help and give up the pot".

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