The Inxer-Toro operation carried out by the Civil Guard and the Tax Agency last September shocked an industry that seemed perfectly established in Spain, namely the sale of cannabis seeds and accessories for indoor and outdoor cultivation.
Lamota, an online grow shop, seed bank and one of the most important distributors of the Spanish cannabis industry, has been investigated at the request of the Investigating Court number 6 of the National High Court and its anti-drug prosecutor.
It has been more than three months since then and the case is still being kept secret, so they are still unable to continue their work. Worst of all, Lamota is only part of the Pot Sistemak SL company, on which two of the world’s largest seed banks depend, Humboldt Seeds Organization and Dinafem, the main seed bank in Spain.
✨ The largest company in the Spanish cannabis industry for more than a decade
Last year, Pot Sistemak, which Lamota is a part of, paid more than €2.2 million in corporate taxes and earned income and a further €900,000 in social security contributions. With these numbers we can get an idea of the business volume of this group of companies in Guipuzcoa (Basque Country).
In 1999 Lamota opened its first grow shop in a small 25m2 store on Calle Aldamar in San Sebastián. It was a huge success from the start and soon the facilities were expanded. The company also sold its own feminized cannabis seeds through Dinafem, and it continued to grow steadily until it became the highest-selling Spanish company and one of the most valuable worldwide.
👌 What is the Spanish law about this activity ?
In Spain there is still no specific regulation for cannabis and until then this business activity will be based on the law of the UN Vienna Convention 1961, which excludes cannabis seeds from the list of controlled narcotics.
With all this in mind, Lamota’s business was in principle perfectly legal. However, since we have no further information, we have to wait, as we neither know the reason for the allegations nor the evidence that may be available.
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📖 What happens to Lamota now ?
It’s difficult to say what the future holds for this company while the case is still under secrecy, but things are not looking good at all given the allegations against Lamota and Pot Sistemak’s partners. They are accused of a crime against public health, criminal organization, money laundering, and power theft.
These are extremely grave allegations, and we hope this company can prove its innocence. In fact, we want to believe that they did everything right, mainly because they are known all over the world, have a great influence on the market and have had the company’s bookkeeping checked for years, as they have an income of over 10 Million euros a year in Spain.
➕ Did the end of grow shops in Spain begin with the fall of Lamota ?
In September, the news of Lamota’s closing took the entire Spanish grow shop industry by surprise and shortly afterwards two similar articles regarding the closure of several shops in Andalusia appeared in tabloids.
Just a month and a half after the police operation against Lamota, another piece of news shocked the grow shop sector. Sinsemilla Almería, one of the oldest shops in the country, closed by court order as part of the so-called “Amnesia” operation. The owner of this grow shop and his 12 employees were arrested. What are they accused of? Apparently that they advise on growing cannabis both in the store and over the phone, which has never been a crime before.
In mid-November, the Guardia Civil’s OCON Sur group intervened in two grow shops in the province of Granada as part of an operation in which 13,000 cannabis plants, 60,000 euros and various firearms were confiscated. This operation is called “Castro” and more than 30 people have already been arrested and 5 leaders are in prison.
There are two possible reasons for these sudden legal proceedings: that the law that has protected this industry so far is being interpreted differently or that the opponents of legalization are still trying to use their soon-to-end power. Be that as it may, we are sure that, in Spain, the clubs, associations and cannabis cultivation for personal use will be preserved in one way or another and that both cannabis seeds and accessories for cultivation will continue to be sold.