Mysterious cannabis smell across Somerset turns out to be from a Ribena factory

The marijuana smell was traced back to a blackcurrant processing factoryWiki Commons

The distinctive aroma of cannabis has been lingering over North Somerset recently – but it turns out the smell wasn't from the class B drug, but rather a factory that produces kiddy favourite Ribena.

The smell is produced during the process of concentrating blackcurrants for the beverage at the Thatchers factory.

Thatchers has been pressing blackcurrants for Ribena for the last two decades. Around 12,000 tonnes of the berries are collected to be processed at Myrtle Farm, where Thatchers cider is also produced.

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First, the berries are crushed and the juice is extracted and pasteurised. It is then turned into a concentrate, which is used at Ribena's factory in Gloucestershire.

A vapour is produced when the juice is evaporated into a concentrate – and this evaporation process is thought to cause the cannabis-like smell.

All the blackcurrants grown by Ribena's in the UK are pressed at Myrtle Farm within 24 hours of harvest in July each year.

Ribena has been produced since 1938 and was handed out to children during the Second World War as a vitamin C supplement.

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