BC bud still strong and plentiful: RCMP report
Ninety per cent of Canada's marijuana is said to come from BC and Quebec, and the THC level is getting stronger each year. Should we be scared? Proud? Disgusted? Awkward?
OTTAWA -- The production of increasingly potent marijuana continues to flourish in Canada despite a decline in grow-operation seizures in British Columbia over the past four years, the RCMP says.
The national police force's annual report on the illicit drug trade concludes that pot cultivation remains "an evolving and very lucrative" industry.
The Mounties say the involvement of organized crime has significantly expanded the Canadian drug trade, with outlaw motorcycle gangs and Asian groups the reigning kingpins of the marijuana industry.
The report notes crime groups that once specialized in a single drug have branched out into various substances, including popular club drug ecstasy.
Based on seizure data for 2006, Canadian police prevented an estimated $2.3-billion in drugs from reaching the streets. The report suggests, however, that may represent between just 5 and 20 per cent of the total amount of illegal drugs in Canada.
About 90 per cent of Canadian-grown marijuana is produced in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
The average level of THC - the active ingredient in pot - in Canadian marijuana increased to 10.25 per cent in 2006 from 9.96 per cent the previous year.
Money from the sale of Canadian marijuana in the U.S. financed other illegal activities, including the purchase of cocaine and guns that were later smuggled into Canada, the report adds.
Both rural and urban properties were purchased by criminal groups last year for the sole purpose of cultivating marijuana.
The RCMP says budder, a highly potent cannabis derivative, appears to becoming more popular.
Users place the drug on a heated knife or coin and inhale the resulting smoke.