Illicit Cannabis Market in Russia, 2006

"The widespread trafficking of cannabis continues unabated. The trafficking is fuelled by the fact that cannabis grows wild in a number of regions in Russia and so is readily available. Indeed, the Russian Federation and neighbouring Kazakhstan contain the world’s largest areas of wild cannabis and the Russian authorities estimate that production of wild cannabis in Russia is around one million (1,000,000) hectares. Depending on the climate conditions, one hectare of cannabis may produce up to 1 million seeds with 5-8 years of reproduction cycle. The THC content of cannabis differs in different regions but tends not to exceed 5 percent. Since 1992, cannabis seizures steadily increased 8 times and reached 89.7 tons in 2004. However, seizures sharply decreased almost threefold in 2005 (30.6 tons) and continued to decrease in 2006 (23.7 tons)."


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, "Illicit Drug Trends in the Russian Federation" (UNODC Regional Office for Russia and Belarus, April, 2008), p. 13.