Expensive high: Ganja prices touch an all-time high in India

Ahead of New Year celebrations in Goa, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and other cities, the demand for the Sheelavathi variety weed (which was grown in ASR district and AOB) has increased in the past few weeks.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  24 Dec 2022 6:30 AM GMT
Expensive high: Ganja prices touch an all-time high in India

Vijayawada: As the police and Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) continue to crack down on cannabis cultivators and smugglers, the price of ganja, from parts of ASR district and along the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB), has increased by over 60–80% in Andhra Pradesh and other cities.

Ahead of New Year celebrations in Goa, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and other cities, the demand for the Sheelavathi variety weed (which was grown in ASR district and AOB) has increased in the past few weeks.

Ten gms of Sheelavathi variety of cannabis is priced anywhere between Rs. 500–600 in Vizag city. Around a year ago, 10 gms of cannabis cost Rs. 200–300 in Vizag city, said a senior officer with the task force police station in Vizag city. The police and SEB destroyed ganja plantations on over 8,000 acres in parts of ASR district (tribal pockets) in 2021. Over two lakh kg of dry ganja worth over Rs. 500 crores was set on fire near Koduru under Anakapalle mandal in February 2022.

A senior SEB officer, on condition of anonymity, said with the destruction and seizure of weed in parts of Andhra Pradesh and other states, weed suppliers, transporters, and local peddlers have suffered losses. Hundreds of smugglers were arrested in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Odisha by various law enforcement agencies. Hence, supply has come down and prices have increased by over 80%, he added.

Smugglers get creative

Despite the crackdown, some ganja smugglers are adopting innovative ways to transport ganja from parts of ASR district and AOB to other towns and cities in the country.

As the gap between demand and supply of Sheelavathi variety increases, drug peddlers are procuring the weed from tribal pockets along AOB for Rs. 5,000–8,000 per kg and are reportedly selling it for Rs 50,000 per kg in Vizag and Rs. 1 lakh in metro cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.

People are using high-end cars and specially-designed vehicles to smuggle ganja from tribal pockets to cities. "We have seized more than 1,200 kgs and nabbed over 100 smugglers, including inter-state smugglers, in the past 10 months," said A. Trinadha Rao, ACP of Task Force, Vizag city.

Some peddlers are using innovative methods to transport the weed to Goa for the New Year parties. The demand and prices for the Sheelavathi variety will further shoot up in the coming days as the smugglers have a tough time transporting the weed, the locals added. The Sheelavathi variety of cannabis reaches every corner of the country as the inter-state smugglers belong to various states, the police added.

Key Points

· AP police launched Operation Parivarthana on 1 November 2021 to destroy ganja crops in tribal pockets.

· Vizag's Sheelavathi weed has a market value ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh per kg in cities and metros.

· Ganja trade or cultivation is not new in the tribal pockets and along AOB.

· The first ganja smuggling case was booked about 45 years ago in 1973, even before the NDPS Act 1985 came into force.

· Ganja crops are being grown extensively (around 75% of the total cultivation) in the AOB region.

· Punjab has the highest proportion (12.55%) of cannabis users in the country, followed by Sikkim (10.94%) and Delhi (8.12%).

Next Story
Share it