Excise officials await lab results on beverage seized from Kozhikode

Shop owner claims that only hemp seeds were mixed in drink

September 07, 2022 09:26 pm | Updated 09:26 pm IST - Kozhikode

Excise officials are awaiting lab results to confirm the presence of cannabis in the beverage seized from a juice shop near the Kozhikode beach recently.

This was after the shop owner claimed that he had only mixed hemp seeds in the beverage, which was legally permitted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Abu Abraham, Deputy Commissioner, Excise, told The Hindu on Wednesday that it was illegal to use cannabis in any form. “A case has already been registered. If the presence of cannabis is confirmed in the chemical lab results, we will initiate action against the shop owner. We have requested the lab officials to speed up the tests. Hopefully, the results will be available soon,” he said.

If the presence of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol is above 0.3%, it is called cannabis or marijuana and if it is less than 0.3%, it is called hemp seeds. The FSSAI has allowed the use of hemp seeds through a notification last year.

It was a special squad of the Excise department that seized nearly 200 millilitres of milk shake mixed with hemp seed oil from the juice parlour on Gujarati Street on Monday. The Excise department suspects that cannabis-infused beverage had been served to students addicted to drugs at the shop. Promotional campaigns on social media to attract more buyers too were believed to have been conducted.

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