It’s not your father’s weed. Canadian-grown "B.C. Bud" is the latest variety of marijuana that teens are using. It is four to 12 times more potent than Mexican, naturally grown marijuana, and it could be coming to a high school near you, police warn.
With the higher potency comes a higher price. A pound of B.C. Bud costs between $3,500 and $4,500, compared with $400 to $1,000 for Mexican marijuana.
And with that higher price comes an increased risk of violence associated with its sale — typically done by young, white males living in the north East Valley, including Paradise Valley and Scottsdale, police said.
"We’ve recovered a lot of g u n s , we’ve re cove re d assault rifles, we’ve recovered bulletproof vests off these kids — 20-year-old kids that live with mom and dad," said detective Matt Shay, a Phoenix Police Department narcotics investigator.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas talked about a 60-pound seizure of B.C. Bud — the largest bust of that type of marijuana to date in the county — from a 51-year-old Canadian man arrested April 20 in Paradise Valley.
Graham Leslie Lidiard was indicted Friday on two marijuana felony offenses. Police stopped him at 5600 E. Lincoln Blvd. and could smell a strong scent of marijuana coming from his trunk, where they found the stash, according to court documents.
B.C. stands for the Canadian province British Columbia, where the variety originated. B.C. Bud is carefully cultivated to increase its level of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical ingredient that causes a person to get high, officials said.
B.C. Bud has a reddish tint to it and a citrus smell, unlike Mexican pot, which is identifiable by stems and seeds mixed with it. The Canadian variety contains about 25 percent THC while the Mexican version contains between 2 percent and 6 percent, Thomas said.
Police started seeing the drug over the past 18 months to two years. They’ve arrested a number of students from Paradise Valley High School and Shadow Mountain High School, and suspects have said they are selling it in Scottsdale and at the Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix, Shay said.