Market assessment: HIGH with a stable market trend.
What is it?
Cannabis is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis plants are cultivated either outdoors (“bush” cannabis) or indoors (hydroponic cannabis). The psychoactive ingredient in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has analgesic effects. Cannabis remains the most widely used illicit substance in Australia.
The cannabis market in Queensland
- The cannabis market in Queensland is an established and stable market. Cannabis use in Queensland is higher than the national average. 
- In recent years there have been detections of cannabis oil extraction laboratories indicating there may be increasing demand for high purity cannabis.
- The majority of cannabis produced in Queensland is bush cannabis. Most hydroponically grown cannabis available in Queensland is sourced from South Australia and Victoria.
- The number of ‘grow houses’ identified in Queensland is increasing however, with recent detections of grow houses in all areas of the state.
- Cannabis continues to be a drug of concern in North Queensland, particularly within Indigenous communities in that region.
- South Eastern region accounts for the majority of cannabis trafficking charges, followed by Central and Brisbane regions.
Organised crime presence
- Organised crime groups in Queensland are involved in producing and distributing locally cultivated bush and hydroponic cannabis, and in transporting cannabis into Queensland from other states, particularly South Australia and Victoria.
- There has been increased participation by interstate organised crime groups, particularly Australian-Vietnamese crime groups, in cultivating hydroponic cannabis in “grow houses” in Queensland.
- Family-based crime networks continue to maintain a presence in the Queensland cannabis market.
- Organised crime groups are increasingly using the services of professional facilitators, including real estate agents and electricians, in establishing grow house facilities.
What you should know
- A number of short and long-term health effects have been associated with cannabis use. These include increased heart rate; a decrease in motivation, memory and attention; decreased motor skills; respiratory issues; anxiety, paranoia, depression, psychosis and addiction as well as the increased risk of developing more severe mental health disorders such as schizophrenia.
- Cannabis is increasingly being used in combination (mixed) with “ice”, called “snow cones”. Health agencies report that patients presenting after having consumed both cannabis and “ice” typically exhibit worse symptoms. Poly drug use can increase the risk of overdose, paranoia and other mental health problems.
- There are risks associated with cultivating cannabis in hydroponic grow houses. These dwellings are at risk of fire due to the substantial amounts of power required to operate them. This risk is heightened considering that most electrical work is performed by individuals who are unlicensed or amateur handymen. Other health risks associated with grow houses include respiratory illness resulting from inadequate ventilation, intense humidity and chemical exposure.
- Using street cannabis for medicinal purposes carries a risk as the dose and potency is not regulated or tested.