Director of Irish Potato Chip Company Gets Busted For Growing Over $30K Worth Of Weed

Retired Irish Potato Farmer Arrested After Switching Over to Cannabis

Everyone knows that getting high makes you crave savory snacks, so it’s only a matter of time before snack producers start growing and selling weed. But for one Irish potato chip company, venturing into weed production led to heavy controversy and an arrest.

Keogh’s Crisps is a massively popular potato chip brand in Ireland. Using potatoes grown locally, the beloved brand’s flavor lineup includes Shamrock & Sour Cream and Sweet Chili & Irish Red Pepper. Those sound tempting even if you’re not high.

Fans of the family-operated brand were surprised to see the brand at the centre of a nationwide controversy recently. Tony Keogh, 64 – a farmer from the Keogh family – was arrested after officials seized nearly €20,000 worth of cannabis. That’s about $30,000 CAD.

Talk about being in major trouble: he was charged under sections 3, 15, and 17 of the Misuse of Drugs Act for possession of drugs, for unlawful sale or supply, and for the prohibition of cultivation of a cannabis plant.

The accused is a farmer and retired director of the company, as well as the uncle of the company’s founder. The company’s website offers a brief autobiographical paragraph on Tony:

“I love to care for the potato crop and come rain or shine we’re making sure everything goes smoothly in the growth cycle. I’ve a keen interest in Motorsports so any free time I have is spent watching races throughout Ireland.”

Clearly, he had been doing much more than watching motorsports in his free time.

“Tony did not reveal his intentions to anybody,” says the company.

According to a statement from the family, he’s not exactly in their good graces.

Keogh’s tweeted a statement on July 11, which reads:

“Unbeknownst to the Keogh business, Tony who officially retired from the family farm business in 2019, had been researching medical cannabis production around the world following the move by the Irish government to legalize medical cannabis last year.”

The post continues, describing how Tony’s operation led to his arrest:

“Tony did not reveal his intentions to anybody, nor did he seek legal advice at any stage. Tony had been cultivating the plants in a small area of an unused glasshouse within full view of the public road and as such a member of the public reported the activities to the [local police].”

In Ireland, supplying over €13,000 worth of cannabis can lead to a minimum sentence of 10 years’ incarceration, with a maximum sentence of life in prison. Recreational use of cannabis is strictly illegal, and medical use of cannabis is only accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Tony will face trial in November, but it’s unclear what verdict he will present. Plus, the country may be one of many with ongoing changes to cannabis policy. One Irish politician implied that cannabis could be decriminalized in the Emerald Isle. Hopefully, for Tony, that will happen sooner than later.