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mercoledì 20 marzo 2013

The EU Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA)

Cannabis
  • High demand sustains a diversity of suppliers and routes
  • Cannabis resin is increasingly imported from Afghanistan via the Balkan route
  • The violence between OCGs involved in trafficking cannabis is increasing
Cannabis is the most widely used drug in Europe. It is estimated that around 1300 tons of cannabis resin and 1200 tons of herbal cannabis are consumed annually in Europe by an estimated 23 million cannabis users.
The market share of herbal cannabis is further increasing across the EU as domestically grown cannabis partially replaces imported resin. Indoor cultivation accounts for most of the herbal cannabis produced in the EU.
Morocco remains the most important producer and exporter of cannabis resin to the EU and as a result Spain is still an important entry and distribution centre for the EU. However, Morocco’s significance for the European cannabis market is declining as the supply from Afghanistan is increasing.
Organised crime is increasingly involved in the production and distribution of cannabis. More criminal distribution networks are shifting markets and change from cocaine and heroin trafficking to cannabis due to the low risks and high profits involved.

Future considerations

The Netherlands is likely to remain the most important source country for seeds and cuttings as well as growing technologies and knowledge. Increased demand and production in other regions in and outside the EU may lead to increased competition between OCGs, changes in trafficking routes and more poly-commodity trafficking. The cannabis market will remain large and complex with no anticipated decrease in demand. OCGs will continue to play a key role in the cultivation and illegal trafficking of various cannabis products.

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