Two men have confessed to illegally cultivating 600 cannabis plants in Reykjavík, nearly 200 of which were almost ready to be harvested, RÚV reports. The plants were discovered during a police operation yesterday. The men, who have been arrested do not have previous criminal records, although police are now looking into whether they may be connected to other illegal activities or growing operations.
Cannabis cultivation in Iceland has increased since the country’s financial collapse in 2008. However, the number of police raids on local growing operations has decreased in recent years, even as it is known that drug usage and cultivation have not diminished. Chief Superintendent Grímur Grímsson of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police says that this is simply a result of police needing to prioritize and direct their efforts to addressing other issues, not least the importation of hard drugs to Iceland. Case in point: nearly ten kg of cocaine—valued at nearly half a billion Icelandic krónur (USD 4.7 million, EUR 4 million)—was confiscated at Keflavík International Airport between October 2016 and July 2017.