Mossos d'Esquadra of the Criminal Investigation Division of the North Metropolitan Police Region have today arrested two men, aged 37 and 33, and a 46-year-old woman, who are accused of crimes against public health and drug trafficking. drugs. The detainees are the managers of a company in Maresme, whose corporate purpose was to carry out hemp production activities for industrial purposes, and the manufacture and distribution of products that supposedly contained CBD (Cannabidiol) in vending machines. Another 14 people have been detained in the establishments.
This morning a device related to this investigation was carried out that has culminated in a balance of three judicial entries in homes and a premises on Avenida del Mar in Santa Susanna, a tobacconist located in the tourist area, in which arrested three people.
In addition, a total of 16 administrative inspections have been carried out in establishments that had these machines or display units. Within the framework of the premises inspections, another 14 people have been arrested, as those responsible for the premises where the boxes with the alleged illegal substance were distributed. These arrests will become null and void in the next few hours, waiting for those under investigation to testify at the police station.
Within the framework of the device, nearly 1,000 boxes containing buds and resin have been seized. 7,000 euros in cash have been seized in the judicial entries. Three vending machines, which were in commercial establishments, have also been sealed.
The investigation began at the beginning of last year when the Mossos d'Esquadra detected a shipment of marijuana buds addressed to the company under investigation. At this point, the researchers carried out various inspections in premises that had vending machines supplied by this company. The objective was to check if the drugs were being distributed under the appearance of legality. The investigators verified that packets of tobacco were indeed sold when in reality there was marijuana inside. With these actions, close to 700 grams of marijuana buds and several pieces of hashish were seized, and close to 700 euros in cash.
As a result of the investigation efforts, vending machines and sales displays where the substances were distributed were located in at least seven establishments, mainly in the Maresme and La Selva regions, although they had also reached establishments in Vallès Occidental, Barcelona and Baix. Llobregat.
The business consisted of the alleged sale of CBD through vending machines and retail displays, which appeared completely legal. The result of the chemical analyzes in all the actions carried out has concluded that the substance that was marketed was tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), better known as THC, the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants, since They contained a concentration of this substance greater than 0.2%. The vending machines were not their property but rather belonged to a third party to whom they paid rent.
Researchers are detecting the emergence of new activities related to the marijuana market to reach the young population under the guise of legality, such as vending machines or the candy market.
During recent years, the Mossos d'Esquadra have detected the germination of a market of other activities related to marijuana, which despite having the appearance of legality, end up occurring in illegal conduct. The most important is hemp for industrial use, and the different products that contain CBD. These stores, both virtual and physical, use the word cannabis as a marketing maneuver to attract potential customers.
During 2022, the Criminal Investigation Division detected the operation of several bud and resin vending machines, supposedly CBD, in grocery stores in different towns in Vallès Occidental and La Selva. Also during 2022, sweets and different products containing THC, instead of CBD, were seized. These types of products are often homemade and do not undergo any health controls.
During the past year, the Mossos d'Esquadra were aware of at least three cases of poisoning in Catalonia due to the consumption of sweets with CBD.