Three people have been arrested after the Winnipeg Police Service became aware of several stores that were selling age-restricted items such as cannabis and illegal tobacco products. 

Between Sept. 6, 2023, and Jan. 16, 2024, the Central Division Community Support Unit inspected various stores under Manitoba's Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act and the Smoking and Vapour Products Control Act.

The inspection led them to discover three stores, including one in the 700 block of Sargent Avenue, another in the 600 block of Westminster Avenue and a third in the 800 block of Talbot Avenue. All were open to the public, and all had age-restricted items on display and in plain view available to minors. Cartons of illegal cigarettes and cannabis products were also found concealed within the stores.

Police discovered that the owner of all three businesses was out of the country, and arrest warrants were issued.

On Jan. 8, a 23-year-old male and a 25-year-old male, both employed at a store in the 700 block of Sargent Avenue, were charged with various offences. 

Meanwhile, the owner of the store, a 41-year-old woman, was arrested while returning to Winnipeg. 

She has been charged with 30 offences, including those related to the sale of unmarked tobacco products and selling cannabis/ accessories appealing to young persons.