Almost 600,000 cannabis plants seized in 2022

Over 2,100 arrests related to dealing of drug last year in Catalonia, 6% up on 2021

Marijuana plants found in Port d'Armentera, southern Catalonia
Marijuana plants found in Port d'Armentera, southern Catalonia / Mossos d'Esquadra
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

April 4, 2023 07:23 PM

Almost 600,000 cannabis plants were seized in 2022 across Catalonia, according to data released by the interior minister, Joan Ignasi Elena, responding to a parliamentary question by far-right party Vox.

The Mossos d'Esquadra confiscated 581,170 such plants and 26,670 kg last year in the country.

Also, 2,130 arrests related to dealing of this drug were made, 6% more than in 2021 (1,998).

According to the police, 1,301 of the people arrested had a foreign nationality and 829 had a Spanish one.

Almost half of the plants seized last year were in the Barcelona region (281,465), and the Tarragona area stood in second place (180,000).

The number of cannabis plants confiscated was lower in Girona (96,272) and Lleida (23,285).

Barcelona third in Europe in cannabis consumption

In a separate report published last month by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA), it was revealed that Barcelona has the third-highest average cannabis consumption per week, just behind Geneva and Amsterdam.

The EMCDDA has seen 151.1 m of cannabis daily per 1,000 inhabitants in the city's wastewater.

Catalonia epicenter of marijuana production

One year ago, the Mossos warned of a notable uptick in Marijuana-related crime, with almost twice as many people arrested last year than five years earlier. Almost half of the people arrested last year did not have a criminal record, suggesting many have entered the illicit trade recently.

“Another factor that explains why Catalonia is at the epicenter of marijuana production is the unemployment rate,” said Joan Carles Granja, an officer in the police.

Cannabis is also the most popular drug in Catalonia after alcohol in tobacco. "Over 30% of the population has tried it at some point," said also in 2022 Dr. Joan Colom, who is in charge of the Catalan government’s drug addiction policies.

"25% of 15- to 29-year olds have done so in the past month."

Have a listen to our Filling the Sink podcast episode published in February 2022 talking about the popularity of cannabis in Catalonia: