To make up for the current shortage, users are rushing to the darknet

darknet & cannabis

Europeans rush to darknet for supplies, EU report says

Cannabis consumers appear to be sourcing through the darknet network to avoid shortages during the coronavirus outbreak, the European Medicines Agency said in a report.

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

The majority of buyers were looking for cannabis, the most widely used illicit drug in Europe.

"The cannabis market is large and many regular consumers may have decided to stock up, anticipating market disruption during the shutdown period," said the report, released Tuesday night.

It indicates that "established buyers or possibly new buyers who are looking for cannabis for their personal use or for their social network are increasing their activity in the market".

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Vendors across Europe have had no choice but to scale back their in-person activities due to containment measures confining millions of people - including their customers - to their homes, the agency said.

But people who wanted to buy cannabis for personal use continued to use it, opting instead for online shopping.

Data collected by the agency revealed that the black market Cannazon, which specializes in cannabis products, sold around 4,3 million euros worth of goods between January and March, a volume of 1,6 tonnes metric.

However, not all drugs sold on darknet sites saw a spike - the report showed that demand for ecstasy, or MDMA, which is often used in dance clubs and other public places, appeared to be declining at as people stayed at home.

The agency found that some sellers were trying to maintain consumer confidence by reassuring buyers that things were going as usual, while others acknowledged the hardships caused by the coronavirus.

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Some sellers had decided to suspend operations during the crisis, while others were trying to boost sales by offering discounts and reducing minimum order quantities.

"Due to recent global events, we have reduced our minimum order so that everyone can have fun during quarantine periods," wrote a salesperson quoted by the agency on a darkmarket site.

Although sales are mainly from the UK and Germany, the Netherlands has also been cited as the source of some of the drugs on offer.

Tags : consumersConsumptioncoronavirus / COVID-19Europe
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