Allegedly selling a relatively unknown form of opiate from a northeast grocery store has left a Calgary man and woman facing narcotics charges.
Based on community information, officials seized a “significant” amount of doda — made from poppy seeds, which also produce opium and heroin — from Desi Bazaar, a grocery store in the 5,100 block of 47th Street NE yesterday afternoon.
“It is highly addictive and illegal. Doda is (on the bottom end of the opiate scale), but that isn’t to lessen the impact. It’s as dangerous as any of the others,” drug unit Staff Sgt. Darren Cave said.
He alleged the drug “was being sold illegally. It was fairly in the open, behind the counter at the front of the store.”
Cave said police haven’t seen this type of drug in the city before, but are quickly learning what to look for. Doda is a dried, ground substance made from seeds taken from poppies and then made into tea.
Calgary police drug expert Det. Doug Hudacin said it’s not likely the man and woman didn’t know the drug was illegal.
“It’s not different in my mind than … cocaine … It’s illegal in other countries and has been illegal for a long time,” Hudacin said.
A committee was formed, including the CPS, RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency, to learn more about it.
“I think it’s a wakeup call for everybody. It’s here and it’s an emerging trend,” Hudacin said.
The man and woman will be facing trafficking charges in relation to the first doda seizure in Calgary. Their names have not yet been released.