Psychologist Rahmeen Charania who was arrested by the officials of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Monday for allegedly preparing and selling brownies made of hashish, in his questioning has revealed that ever since the NCB had busted a hash brownie bakery in Malad last month, his business of selling such brownies had increased threefold. The agency officials also claimed that most of his customers were young women. The agency is also probing certain WhatsApp groups which was allegedly used by Charania to strike deal of brownies.
"He used to prepare Brownies at home and would use chocolate, dough, essence and use hashish along with butter. He is known as Eddie within his client circuit, which we later learnt that is synonym with Edible Brownie. He told us during questioning that in June when we had busted a hashish brownie bakery in Malad, a lot many unknown people used to approach him and give him orders for hashish brownie. Which is why he said he had taken bulk orders and that is when we had seized ten kilograms of hash brownies from his place. Those who book orders with him would pick up the brownies from his place itself," said Zonal Director of Mumbai NCB, Sameer Wankhede.
Charania, a psychologist who is also a consultant at a prominent south Mumbai hospital was arrested by the NCB team on Monday and had seized ten kilograms of brownies made of hashish, being sold under the name ‘Hash Brownie’ from his house. Agency officials also found 320 grams of opium along with Rs 1.72 lakh in cash during the house search of the accused.
The NCB officials had claimed that Charania is involved in baking brownies and cakes with a mixture of weed/ hashish and opium. He would supply such brownies to high-profile private party circuits in Mumbai and the suburbs. "As per the preliminary disclosure of the accused, a team of NCB Mumbai intercepted one Ramzan Shaikh and seized 50 grams of hashish at Crawford Market in the wee hours of Tuesday. Charania used to source weed and hashish from Ramzan Shaikh and other local peddlers,” Wankhede had said.
According to the NCB, hash brownies are made using hashish as an ingredient and consumed for its psychoactive effects. Ingesting cannabis and hashish is one of the most powerful ways to abuse cannabis-based drugs and products. Consumed thus, the effect lasts for at least six hours unlike when smoked, in which THC travels directly to the brain, bypassing the stomach, causing the effect of vaporisation and smoking to quickly subside. However, on being digested, THC has a more potent effect on receptors in the brain, which is why edible versions are more potent than just smoking the drug.
On June 12, in a clandestine operation, NCB officers had busted an alleged racket in the supply of brownies containing edible weed and marijuana, the sale and production of which is banned under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, after raiding a Malad bakery. A woman and two others, Elston Fernandes and Jagat Chaurasia, were arrested by the NCB in the said offence. The team seized a total of 830 grams edible weed or edible cannabis and 160 grams of marijuana from the outlet.