Black Market Cannabis Sales Continue to Rise in Europe

Medical cannabis access is not available in all parts of Europe, and profits continue to rise on the black market.

According to KFGO, Europeans spent at least 11.6 billion, or $12.7 billion USD, on cannabis from illegal sources. This still keeps cannabis on top as the largest black-market money source in the European Union.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) claimed in their annual report that the market is worth at least 30 billion, increased from 24 billion in 2013. Illegal sales of cannabis products made up 39 percent of the EU’s drugs market, up from 38 percent in 2013. The report also showed that a lot of the money comes from gang activity.

The data also shows that a lot of the cannabis in the European Union originates from the U.S. However, a lot of the imported resin comes mostly from Morocco, and a lot of flower is imported from Albania. “The European drug market is increasingly characterized by consumers having access to a wide variety of high-purity and high-potency products,” the report said.

The report also claims that some proceeds from this illegal money go to militant organizations. Narcotics are a major source of income for groups like West Africa’s Boko Haram, Islamic State, and Somalia’s al-Shabaab. It also claimed that cryptocurrency and other laundering methods were being used to carry out criminal activity.

With all these numbers pointing to a major connection between illegal cannabis and crime, it only makes sense to legalize. Luckily, the European Union is finally starting to come around to things like CBD as a treatment for seizures and Luxembourg finally legalized cannabis. Hopefully, it’s only a matter of time until other countries in Europe come around.

 

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