A drug dealer whose makeshift factory could have made nearly £4 million worth of cannabis-laced boiled sweets has been jailed for nine years, police said.

Ryan Dobson, 54, ran the production line from his home in Dunmow, Essex, making professionally packaged tins of cubed confectionery in his kitchen and garage.

The Metropolitan Police found 12 rubber moulds, some covered in cannabis oil, which allowed Dobson to quickly produce 900 cannabis sweets at a time.

Officers also found high strength skunk cannabis stalks in labelled vacuum-sealed packaging in a raid on his home on November 4 last year.

Prosecutors said the value of the sweets, along with more than 20,100 empty tins found in 28 boxes in Dobson’s garage, meant there was a potential to make 745,920 grams, with a street value of £3,729,600.

Dobson, who pleaded guilty to drugs and weapon offences, was jailed for nine years on Thursday at Snaresbrook Crown Court after the judge rejected his claim that he only sold the cannabis to cancer sufferers.

Detective Inspector Niall McSheffrey said: “Dobson had established a lucrative drugs factory, which could have caused significant harm to children.

“He converted boiled sweets into cannabis-laced sweets and an adult or young person would not have known the difference.

“Dobson claimed to be selling the cannabis for medicinal purposes to help ease the pain of cancer patients.

“However, he has no medical training and the cannabis seized was illegal. He was purely selling the cannabis products for financial gain.

“This conviction and the seizure of these illegal products represents the Met’s commitment to tackle all safeguarding issues and bring those involved in the manufacture and supply of drugs to justice.”

(Image: PA)

Detectives also found a small amount of cocaine, two stun guns and two encrypted “Encrochat” mobile phones at Dobson’s home.

Dobson, of Church Lane, pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying a Class B drug, possession with intent to supply a Class B drug, producing a Class B drug, importation of a Class B drug, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of a weapon for the discharge of an electrical current to stun and incapacitate, and possession of a Class A drug.