Interview with a darknet cannabis buyer

Legal cannabis from the pilot projects is currently only available in Basel-Stadt. In Zurich, it won't be available until the end of the year at the earliest. But how do users currently obtain their supply? Many have private connections, buy on the street or conveniently from home via the darknet.

We searched a darknet forum and actually found a customer who was willing to give an anonymous interview.

Michael: The last time we reported on the Darknet was in Legalize it 86 (Winter 2019). Back then, you could buy hash for 30 francs, for example. Does that still work the same way today?

Customer: Things have changed a lot since then. Today, you can hardly find offers for less than 10 g and therefore usually have to spend at least 100 francs - at your own risk, of course, for a variety that you might not like in the end.

Michael: Here I would like to make a brief remark: We do not recommend ordering more than 10 g, because you are only allowed to possess up to 10 g of THC-containing products for your own consumption without being punished. With more than 10 g, the police must initiate proceedings.

Customer: In general, it often looks bad with offers in the Darknet lately. Several Darknet Markets like “Dark0de” or “Cannazon” have disappeared recently. [Editor's note: Darknet markets are store platforms that bring together customers and traders like eBay, but for the darknet]. Some have been closed down by law enforcement agencies, others have made off with the money from current orders (“Exit Scam”).

Michael: Are there still markets online at all? How do you react as a customer?

Customer: Some market is usually still online. I also came across a Swiss darknet dealer who recently started running his own darknet store. I no longer have to go through a market, but always have the option of ordering directly from this retailer.

Most darknet retailers are also multi-pronged. You can find them not only on one single market, but on several (if there are several active ones at the time…) and of course on messengers like Telegram.

Michael: What is currently available in the store or on the markets, and how do you decide on an offer?

Customer: Generally, I first narrow down the product list to retailers that ship from Switzerland so I don't get in trouble with customs. Then I look at the reviews and the offer. At the retailer I chose this time, there are completely different varieties since the last order. So I had no choice but to try a new variety again.

The cannabis strain I chose is called “Nebula Haze”. According to the description, it is a 50/50 sativa/indica hybrid with a fruity taste and a relaxed high. The following day, the goods arrived.

The buds were indeed bright green and covered with resin and orange stamens exactly as advertised in the dealer's picture!

The taste was intense and flawless, and the effect very pleasant.

Michael: Do you trust the retailer or how do you make sure the material is clean?

Customer: In the past, you just had to trust the dealers. Now there is an interesting offer from the DIZ [Editor's note: Drug Information Center (DIZ) of the city of Zurich], where you can get tested exactly how high the THC content and CBD content actually is, and whether there are any impurities in the material.

At the DIZ, to get a cannabis drug check, you first have to call on Wednesdays to make an appointment on Thursday evening. A day later, one brings in 1 g of crushed cannabis flowers and decants them into a mini-grip prescribed by the lab. In addition, you answer a few questions in a personal conversation with the friendly DIZ employees: where you bought the material and for what reasons exactly you are using the service.

Many come with suspicion of synthetic cannabinoids. I had no suspicion of this, but simply wanted to have the THC and CBD content determined. You can call for the lab result eight days later. Apart from the 1 g flowers, the city's offer is free of charge.

So I had my order tested in the lab. It came out that the THC content is 13.4% and the CBD content is < 0.05%. This was typical for the flower samples of the last time, which contained on average 12% THC and no CBD. For comparison, the darknet dealer specified the THC content as 22%, the CBD content was not specified.

Michael: Thank you very much for the interview!

Our conclusion

In summary, what I learned from my interviewee is that the supply on the darknet varies widely, both in terms of the markets available, the traders on the markets (and elsewhere), and the grades that can be found among the traders. The smallest amount now seems to be 10g everywhere, usually paid via Bitcoin, sometimes via Monero.

While visually, taste-wise and effect-wise the product delivers what the vendor promises, the THC content deviates significantly, but this is probably common, unfortunately. A THC content of 13.4% is by no means bad, it would just be nice if the labeling was accurate. For this, however, we in Switzerland will probably have to wait for the pilot projects or for legalization…

So until then, most people will buy goods that are not tested. The only possibility for some security offers the “Drug Checking”. In the past only pills and powders were tested, now cannabis products can be checked as well. These agencies test cannabis as standard:

  • saferparty.ch (DIZ, Drug Information Center of the City of Zurich)
  • raveitsafe.ch (dib, “drogeninfo bern” of the CONTACT foundation for addiction support, in the cities of Bern and Biel)
Last modified: 2023/12/22 21:16

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Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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