Cannabis Users Rush to Darknet to Stock Up For Lockdowns, EU Report Says

Article by Catarina Demony, Growth Op

CORONAVIRUS Cannabis users rush to darknet to stock up for lockdowns, EU report says By Catarina Demony Thousands of reviews on three major darknet market sites between January and March were analyzed and found that restrictions on movement appeared to have triggered an increase in activity of around 25 per cent during the period. Kevin Mohatt/Reuters

Cannabis users appear to be stocking up via the darknet to avoid shortages while under lockdown during the coronavirus outbreak, the European drug agency said in a report.

The Lisbon-based agency analyzed thousands of reviews on three major darknet market sites between January and March and found that restrictions on movement appeared to have triggered an increase in activity of around 25% during the period.

The majority of buyers were looking for cannabis, Europe’s most commonly used illicit drug.

“The cannabis market is a large one and many regular cannabis users may have decided to stock up, anticipating market disruption during the lockdown period,” said the report, released on Tuesday evening.

It said that “established buyers or possibly new buyers who are seeking cannabis for personal use or for use among their social network are increasing their activities on the market.”

Sellers across Europe were left with little option but to reduce their in-person activities due to lockdowns confining millions – including their customers – to their homes, the agency said.

But people wanting to buy cannabis for personal use kept on consuming, opting for online purchases instead.

Data collected by the agency found that darknet market Cannazon, which specializes in cannabis products, sold an estimated 4.3 million euros worth of goods between January and March, representing a volume of 1.6 metric tonnes.

Still, not all drugs sold via darknet sites saw a spike – the report showed demand for ecstasy, or MDMA, which is often used at dance clubs and other public settings, appeared to be declining as people stayed home.

The agency found some vendors were trying to keep consumer confidence high by reassuring buyers it was “business as usual” while others acknowledged the challenges caused by the coronavirus.

Read the full article here.

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