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'Butane Hash Oil' found in Ibiza: Five times stronger than 'traditional' marijuana and 'lethal' to produce
A HAUL of frozen cannabis oil uncovered in Ibiza has sparked public concern after police confirmed the substance is highly dangerous and far stronger than the type of marijuana smoked in joints.
The Guardia Civil found 28 kilos of hash oil in a warehouse on an industrial estate, together with 1,300 cannabis plants which had music played to them to help them grow.
Butane Hash Oil (BHO) has never yet been seen in Spain, let alone on the scale it was being produced at in Ibiza, says the Organised Crime Unit (UCO).
To extract oil from the plant, the process involves the use of highly-flammable gas in such huge quantities that just one spark could have caused an explosion that would have wiped out several blocks.
This information was supplied some time ago by the USA's drug squad, the DEA, after they uncovered a BHO laboratory with enough butane gas in it to blow up an entire street.
Although this is the first production site found in Spain, a 36-year-old man from Murcia was found to have been extracting hash oil a month ago.
He accidentally caused a gas blast, suffering fatal burns.
As well as the risks involved in producing it, BHO is five times as strong as the type of marijuana normally found on the street and smoked with tobacco in a rolled-up joint, but fortunately, demand for it is very low in Spain as it is extremely difficult to find producers.
The oil is normally dripped onto the end of a 'standard' joint, which is extremely harmful to the lungs – far more so than smoking 'regular' cigarettes – and can also be 'vaped' using e-cigarettes.
It is also very expensive, costing €7 to €8 a gram or between €4,000 and €5,000 a kilo, meaning the Ibiza racket could easily have netted up to €140,000 through its sale.
The 'going rate' in the Balearic Islands is around €3,000 a kilo, or between €1,700 and €2,000 in southern Spain, rising to more than €5,000 in northern Europe.
According to the UCO, the gang behind the recent haul had frozen the oil to preserve it better, but also to stop it producing the strong smell normally associated with cannabis and which typically leads to mass producers getting caught.
Four people have been arrested, including the ringleader, who has been remanded in custody.
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