The drug police found in the clandestine lab last Friday was shatter, a highly potent pot product.
“It could be as high as 80 per cent THC at varying degrees,” said Sgt. Dave Uppal of the Prince Rupert RCMP.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is the ingredient in marijuana that produces the high. Regular marijuana has a concentration of five to 18 per cent THC. Shatter is a concentrated form of marijuana. In the process of extracting the THC the drug turns into a waxy substance, toffee in colour and fragile like a piece of glass once finished.
The drug can be used in a vaporizer or placing a small amount on the tip of a cigarette to smoke.
“We have seen it before in Prince Rupert. We saw it at a residence in Port Edward in the last year,” Uppal said.
The most recent discovery was when police issued a search warrant for a residence on 6th Avenue East on May 26. There were two people arrested at the lab producing shatter. Police are still investigating a related incident regarding a cannabis grow-op on 6th Avenue West.
While marijuana is still illegal in Canada, the federal government plans to have a legalized system in place by July 2018. However, the government intends to set regulations to standardize the amount of THC in cannabis products.
Despite the current laws, dispensary clinics have been existing in a legal grey area across the province and shatter is being sold in dispensary clinics with prices ranging from $35 to $70 a gram.
But having a lab producing shatter in a residential area is dangerous said Uppal.
“The biggest danger is in its production because different gases are used to make it,” he said, adding that it could cause an explosion.