As we know that the international borders remained close most of the 2020 as lockdown was imposed due to the novel coronavirus, while the officials of India’s drug law enforcement agency focused their attention towards cannabis dealers inside the country finding out that cannabis smugglers from India are shifting to hash oil, which resulted in drug busts halfway through 2020 which exceeded in 2019.
The south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh emerging as a new cannabis capital for India, the law enforcement agencies have started an active crack down on those who are cannabis smugglers from India in the areas of Visakhapatnam, which is the executive capital of the state.
More than 100 kgs have been seized by the cops every month in the last year. In Visakhapatnam 3,000kgs of cannabis was seized with over 170 arrests, according to The Times of India. Because of these arrests, cannabis smugglers from India are shifting to hash oil.
An excise duty official stated that after multiple huge shipments of Cannabis also in Indian slang known as ganja, which were seized by the DRI (India’s apex anti-smuggling agency), police departments and excise duty officers in Andhra and Telangana, as an alternative suppliers started making hash oil. Unlike cannabis, it is easy to cover and transport hashish oil.
For those who are unaware of hash oil:
The oil that is extracted from cannabis is hash oil, which is said to have a higher concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the major psychoactive substance present in cannabis than anything else which makes it more potent. The options to consume it are many, like the portable vape pen or an e-cigarette, or directly vaporising it which is also called as dabbing allowing the consumer to feel nothing but its strong effects and the flavour.
Cannabis smugglers from India, especially from the state of Andhra’s agency region of Visakhapatnam have come up with some unique methods to make money by processing dry cannabis leaves and producing hash oil, by doing this remote areas which will avoid scrutiny.
Unlike the regular ganja buds which are easy to identify, there is a convenience in concealing hash oil and transporting it to other cities in plastic containers or even plastic bottles, this was observed by a personnel of the Special Enforcement Bureau. Now these smugglers are reported to be producing hash oil using cannabis paste by adding some new ingredients to the recipe, such as poppy seeds and some other narcotic materials.
The locals of these regions are suspecting that there is financial and technical support for gathering resources by the inter-state gang members, who are producing this hash oil, packaging it from Visakhapatnam and smuggling it into cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad, among many other major cities which result in sizeable profits for these smugglers and the gangs.
Looking at the rates of these drugs, the price rage of a kilogram of cannabis can be from Rs. 3000 to 5,000 which is $41-69 in the Agency region of Visakhapatnam whereas, hash oil in somewhat similar quantities can be sold at around $343 to $686.
How much “Ganja” has been seized by the local police?
The local police chief, Manish Kumar Sinha stated told the TOI that 966 kgs of dry cannabis has been seized and around 11 kgs of hash oil has been seized from smugglers and users who are booked and kept in custody. In further investigation, it has come to light that in many cases consumers have become dealers.
Bengaluru police, recently arrested a 27 y/o student who was smuggling hash oil after sourcing it from Andhra Pradesh. Two more were arrested last week by the city cops who recovered hash oil and marijuana which was worth $16,486. Last year in November, three people were arrested with three kgs of hash oil which was worth $34,347 who had planned to sell these sourced hash oil to a chain of contacts in cities like Bengaluru and Kerala.
Even though the smugglers are being arrested who are just point men who smuggle contraband from one place to another, the law is focused on zeroing in on the kingpins. Manish Kumar Sinha said “We will continue our raids to nab peddling gangs.”
Now the rising popularity of hash oil and cannabis smugglers from India, is corresponding with the substance becoming a global sensation. Whereas it has also become the main cause of home combustions. Using butane to extract THC from Marijuana leaves is the one of the cheapest and the most common ways of producing hash oil.
This method is dangerous enough when it is attempted in ventilated indoor labs where the risk of an explosion becomes a major possibility. Butane hash oil has been suspected to be the major cause of several explosion which happened on a large-scale, in the recent time categorically identifying U.S. In the month of May last year, there was an explosion in the factory known for making butane hash oil in Los Angeles, where 11 fire fighters were injured due to the explosion.