There has been a "dramatic shift" in the European cannabis market — including in Ireland — away from resin to herbal cannabis.
A major report, the first of its type, said Ireland was an "entry point" for the importation of cannabis resin into the British and European markets.
The 274-page research, conducted by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, said the sharp rise in herbal cannabis cultivation across Europe was "increasingly associated with collateral damage such as violence and criminality".
The report, entitled ‘Cannabis production and markets in Europe’, finds there had been a "dramatic shift" away from cannabis resin to herbal cannabis.
It said in two-thirds of the 30 European countries surveyed, herbal cannabis dominated the cannabis market.
In Ireland, where resin has traditionally been the dominant form, herbal cannabis accounted for nearly half of the cannabis market in 2009, compared to around 10% a decade earlier.
Source: Cormac O'Keeffe, Irish Examiner, 02/0712