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Hokkaido: Hairdresser used government funds for marijuana growing equipment

HOKKAIDO (TR) – Law enforcement here has arrested a hairdresser in Kitami City for allegedly growing marijuana in part with funds provided by the government, reports NHK (Sept. 28).

On September 8, Shinya Ono, 41, was found to be growing 54 marijuana plants and in possession of 36.2 grams of dried marijuana at his residence, the Hokkaido Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare said.

Ono has admitted to the allegations. “I’ve been raising marijuana to smoke myself for several years,” he was quoted.

Police seized 54 marijuana plants from a residence in Kitami City on September 8 (NHK)

Earlier this year, the national government began providing the payments of 1 million yen to small- and mid-size companies and freelancers affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

According to the bureau, Ono received such a payment and used the funds to purchase special lighting and fans to grow the plants.

Police are now investigating whether Ono was participating in trafficking of marijuana.