VISAKHAPATNAM: With the police and Special Operations Department (SEB) workers continue to manufacture cannabis and smuggling, the price of ganja from the areas of ASR district and Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) has increased by over 60 to 80 percent in major cities in AP and in other metros. Ahead of the New Year celebrations in Goa, Mumbai, Bengaluru and some other cities, the demand for ‘SheelavathiThe variety of grass (grown in the ASR and AOB district) has increased in recent weeks.
A packet of 10 gm of ‘Sheelavathi’ is priced between Rs 500 and Rs 600 in Vizag city. About a year ago, a quantity of cannabis was being sold for between Rs 200 and Rs 300 in the city, said a senior official with the city police. The police and SEB officials destroyed ganja plantations in about 8,000 acres in the district’s ASR (family pockets) areas in 2021. More than two lakh kg of dried ganja more than ₹500 crore was set ablaze near Koduru in Anakkapalle mandal in February 2022.
A senior official with SEB said that due to the destruction and seizure of weed in AP areas, as well as seizure of weed in other states, weed suppliers, transporters have suffered losses. and local consumers. Hundreds of smugglers have been arrested in AP, Telangana, and Odisha by law enforcement agencies. As a result, supply has come down and prices have increased by more than 80 percent, he added. However, despite the controversy, some ganja smugglers are using new ways to transport the weed from the ASR and AOB districts to other cities and towns in the country.
With the widening gap between demand and supply of Sheelavathi variety, drug dealers are buying the weed from family bags in AOB at a price of Rs 5,000 to Rs. 8,000 per kg and they are selling at Rs 50,000 per kg in Vizag and at Rs. 1 lakh in metro cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
People are using high-speed cars and trucks designed to push hemp from family farms to cities. “We have seized more than 1,200 kg of ganja and arrested over 100 smugglers, including inter-state criminals, in the last 10 months, said A Trinadha Rao, ACP of Task Force , Vizag city.
Some traders are using new methods to bring the forest to Goa for New Year parties. The demand and price of Sheelavathi will increase in the coming days as the smugglers find it difficult to get the weed, locals said.
Sheelavathi can be different in every corner of the county while those arrested across the state are from different states, police added.

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