Authorities announced Wednesday that a vast industrial farm with 415,000 cannabis plants in an open area of 67 hectares and a market value of 30 million euros have been cleared in northern Spain.
The Navarre region’s civil police and police say in a joint statement that the exploitation is “the largest cannabis crop in Europe” to date. Police said the plants should be converted to CBD (cannabidiol, a drug-free resting molecule) and other derivatives for countries such as “Switzerland or Italy”.
Once processed, these hemp plants (cannabis sativa) are estimated to have reached a market value of 100 100 million, according to a press release. A large industrial hangar allowed the mills to dry, distributing them to 11 floors in the neighboring cities of Artzona and Olite near Pamplona, the capital of Navarre.
2.3 million plants were confiscated
The operations manager initially told investigators that the product was “for industrial use”. A spokesman for the Civil Guard explained that use for industrial or pharmaceutical purposes is legal with authorization in Spain, but that the production of converting CBD and derivatives into products is illegal.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the investigation. Spain is one of the leading producers of cannabis in Europe, with almost half of the plants seized in the European Union, according to a recent report by the European Center for Drug Control (EMCDDA).
According to the latest figures from the Ministry of the Interior, more than 2.3 million cannabis plants were seized in Spain by 2021, three times more than in 2016.