A herd of sheep grazing near Almyros in the Thessaly region Greece invaded a medical cannabis greenhouse and ate at least a hundred kilograms of pot, local reports say. The incident was spurred by displaced livestock in Greece after Storm Daniel ripped through the Mediterranean country.
NPR reports that over 600 pounds of cannabis were consumed by sheep in the Thessaly incident, while other sources mention 220 pounds of cannabis. Either way, it was a massive amount of medical cannabis. Sheep throughout Europe are known to be attracted to eating cannabis, often becoming unruly or behaving strangely from the effects.
A farm owner said the sheep were noticeably high, particularly in the way it caused them to jump around in ecstasy, however he admitted the situation is hilarious. It’s only been months since the first medical cannabis operations in Greece were launched.
“I’m Michel Martin,” a reporter said for NPR.” A flock of sheep with a serious case of the munchies hit the jackpot after they snuck into a greenhouse in Magnesia, Greece. Their reward was 600 pounds of medical marijuana. The sheep were looking for shelter after Storm Daniel brought heavy rain and flooding to the region. After the feast, farm owner Yannis Bourounis said the sheep were jumping higher than goats, which we are told never happens. Way higher than goats, presumably.”
Sheep normally graze on grass, legumes, clovers, forbs (wildflowers), and other pasture crops. Wildflowers are typically among their favorite foods and they first eat forbs before the other plants. It’s not the only flower they’re after, apparently.
Storm Daniel Wreaks Havoc for Animal Feed in Greece
Greek Reporter reports that the Thessaly area was flooded recently thanks to Storm Daniel, and over a hundred thousand animals have been killed, as well as 17 people. Floods swept Thessaly and parts of central Greece.
“I don’t know if it’s for laughing or crying,” farm owner Bourounis told TheNewspaper.gr, after learning that sheep devoured the cannabis.
“We had the heatwave, and we lost a lot of production. We had the floods, we lost almost everything. And now this…The herd entered the greenhouse and ate what was left. I don’t know what to say, honestly.”
Not just mammals, but nearly all animals—including vertebrates and invertebrates—have been found to have endocannabinoid systems. This of course includes sheep and even microscopic creatures like hydra that have neural networks. This is often the reason that THC isn’t recommended for smaller pets, as the effects might be too strong.
The mayor of Tyrnavos, Yiannis Kokouras, said, “if there is no immediate aid in animal feed, then the livestock that survived the disaster will die of starvation. The flooding has struck a huge blow to livestock and agricultural production not only for the region but for the whole country. Large livestock units were lost and unfortunately it is the period of the production process. Rural and country roads were destroyed. Thousands of acres of farmland are under tons of water.”
Agriculture in Thessaly—the bread basket of Greece—has been particularly impacted. It also caused livestock to search for food in unusual areas. Αlmost 70 percent of the cotton crop in Thessaly, Greece is estimated to have been destroyed. Farmers near Mount Pelion, overlooking the plain of Thessaly, say their apple crops were devastated from the flooding as well.
“There is already a flock of sheep roaming the village causing a nuisance,” Swansea County Councillor Ioan Richard said. “We could have an outbreak of psychotic sheep rampaging through the village.”
Medical Cannabis in Greece
The sheep in Thessaly appear to be attracted to cannabis after they devoured over one hundred kilograms. In January 2023, Greece’s first-ever medical cannabis production plant was inaugurated at Examilia, near Corinth. Tikun Europe, a subsidiary of Israel-based Tikun Olam, invested €40 million into Greek operations with a 56,000 square meter area in Examilia. The location also boasts 21,000 square meters of greenhouse space—near the area invaded by sheep.
The investment was initially welcomed by the then-Greek Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis who said at the time that this is “a product which we will be able to export throughout Europe because this factory can carry out huge exports to all major European countries.”
Along with new medical cannabis laws comes new responsibilities that were not a problem before, such as livestock getting into the medical cannabis.
In 2014, sheep in Surrey ate £4,000 worth of pot on a farm. USA Today reports that in 2016, stoned sheep high on cannabis “caused mayhem” and went on a rampage in Rhydypandy, a Welsh village, after eating leftover plants from a cannabis factory that were illegally dumped on the side of the road.