Spanish police have uncovered a huge cannabis plantation in the region of Navarra and arrested three suspected growers, Spain’s Guardia Civil said on Wednesday, working in conjunction with the regional Policía Foral. Two others are under investigation in the neighbouring Basque Country region.
The Guardia Civil said the 1,025-acre plantation was the largest of its kind in Europe.
Police said the owner reported that his crop was for industrial use. But investigators suspected the hemp plants were being sent to Switzerland and Italy to be turned into cannabidiol, or CBD, the production of which is illegal in Spain.
CBD is sometimes used in medical treatments, as is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is also extracted from cannabis plants and is the main component of the drug marijuana.
Police destroyed 415,00 hemp plants that they think were intended to be sold for some 30 million euros. Third parties in foreign countries would then process the plants into CBD, worth around 100 million euros, Spanish police said.
The growers had already prepared some of the plants to be shipped abroad, a police statement said. The majority of the plants, however, were still on the fields.
Operación conjunta con @guardiacivil: desmantelamos la mayor plantación de cáñamo industrial de Europa destinada al tráfico de drogas. 415.000 plantas, 87.500kg cogollos. Compañero fuera de servicio descubrió uno de los cultivos y comenzó la investigación #BuenTrabajo #cannabis pic.twitter.com/BW2U1hcqF8— Policía Foral – Foruzaingoa (@policiaforal_na) April 13, 2022