Europeans rush to darknet for supplies, says EU report
Cannabis users seem to be sourcing via the darknet network to avoid shortages during the coronavirus epidemic, said the European Medicines Agency in a report.
The Lisbon-based agency analyzed thousands of data from 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% during 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 source it, anticipating the market disruption during the shutdown period," said the report, released Tuesday evening.
He indicates that "established buyers or possibly new buyers looking for cannabis for their personal use or for their social network increase their activities in the market".
Vendors across Europe had no choice but to cut back on their operations in person due to containment measures that confined 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 in goods between January and March, representing a volume of 1,6 tonnes. metrics.
However, not all of the drugs sold on darknet sites have peaked - the report showed that demand for ecstasy, or MDMA, which is often used in dance clubs and other public places, appeared to be declining. 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 recognized the difficulties caused by the coronavirus.
Some sellers decided to close down during the crisis, while others tried 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 seller quoted by the agency on a darkmarket site.
Although sales are mainly from the UK and Germany, the Netherlands has also been cited as a source for some of the drugs on offer.