More cannabis in Sweden than previously thought

Swedish authorities have seriously underestimated the size of the country's cannabis market, according to a new police report. Around 25-30 tonnes of cannabis are sold in Sweden every year, rather than the 3 tonnes previously estimated.

The new figures come in a report from the National Criminal Investigation Department (Rikskriminalpolisen). Previous estimates have been based on the consumption of known cannabis users. The latest information was based on a more wide-ranging survey taking in information from police forces, prosecutors, customs, coastguard and forensic experts.

According to the report, around 140 networks are active in smuggling cannabis into Sweden. Police and customs have in recent years smashed 19 smuggling rings.

Home-grown marijuana accounts for an increasing amount of the cannabis consumed in Sweden. Industrial scale cultivation of the plant has been uncovered at sites in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Uppsala and Halmstad in recent years.

“The amount of cannabis in circulation in Sweden is much higher than we previously thought,” said project leader Johan Nilsson at the National Criminal Investigation Department.

Nilsson said he wanted to see systematic checks on vehicles on the E4 and E6 motorways as part of efforts to tackle the problem.