Police seized ‘Europe’s biggest cannabis plantation’ in rural Spain, worth €100 million

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Officers burned 415,000 hemp plants worth up to €100 million at a plantation in Navarre's rural northern area, considered the continent's largest.

In Spain, police raided what is thought to be Europe's largest cannabis plantation.

Officers burned 415,000 marijuana plants worth up to €100 million at a plantation in Navarre's remote northwestern province.

Around 50 tonnes of the plant were dried in a warehouse before being processed into cannabidiol (CBD). This non-psychoactive chemical is increasingly being used to treat anxiety and sleeplessness.

Even though CBD is legal in Spain and many other European nations, the Agriculture Ministry reports that Spanish legislation prohibits the growing of cannabis plants for anything other than industrial reasons, such as textiles and seeds.

Growing hemp to extract CBD or other compounds is still illegal.

The plantation was stretched across 11 fields totaling 67 hectares (166 acres), according to the Guardia Civil, a Spanish police enforcement organisation.

Since the operation began in the middle of last year, when one of the farms was found by authorities, three persons have been detained.

According to the plantation owner, the farm was a lawful enterprise producing industrial cannabis.

According to the Guardia Civil, they planned to ship significant amounts of the plant to Italy and Switzerland to be processed into CBD.

The majority of Europeans are in favour of cannabis legalisation.

According to recent studies, more than half of Europeans support the legalisation of cannabis.

According to research by Hanway, a London-based consultant, and Curaleaf International, a cannabis company, almost 30% of those polled showed an interest in acquiring the material.

While many respondents favoured regulated cannabis businesses, many were opposed to people being able to cultivate the plant at home.

By 2025, the European cannabis sector will generate more than €3 billion in yearly sales.

Malta was the first European country to legalise the personal use and restricted cultivation.

Germany is one of the countries that has legalised cannabis for medical purposes.

Joe Bayern, CEO of Curaleaf, stated, "There is a significant political will and inclination in Germany to legalise recreational usage."

"Because Germany is Europe's greatest economy, we believe it will lead the way and set a precedent for the rest of the continent."

Cannabis is still classified as a Class B drug in the United Kingdom, where recreational use is prohibited.

On the other hand, specialist doctors have been allowed licence to prescribe medical cannabis to their patients as of 2018.

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