One of the darknet’s most well-known markets for marijuana and related products announced its impending closure on Tuesday. Cannazon, which had been in operation since 2018, was considered to be one of the premiere darknet markets for cannabis products across Europe and the UK. The closure was announced on Dread where the market had maintained a presence for years.
The top of the main market screen currently offers the following message:
“We are retiring. No exit scam. All orders finalized. All vendors got their money.”
Below this is a PGP-signed messaged dated November 23rd going into an explanation of the closure, which managed to catch many users off guard. “Everyone knew that this day would come,” reads the message. “No market will be here forever. We are officially retiring.”
Cannazon suffered a spate of DDOS attacks during the last few months which, at times, left the market down for over 24 hours at a time. The most recent attack, which concluded just nine days ago, left the market partially offline, with some components inaccessible to users. All but one market URL was usable, and the market’s community began to suspect plans of an exit scam were afoot. Rather than restore the market to its full functionality, the Cannazon admins apparently decided the time to quit was right, following in the footsteps of White House Market’s graceful August exit.
In the week preceding closure, Cannazon had over 4,000 product listings across hundreds of vendors, with thousands of buyers active at least monthly.
Complete with how-to manuals, harm reduction guides and a helpful staff, Cannazon set standards for future darknet markets, supporting both Bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR), offering multisig escrow for BTC payments, and allowing users to browse the market without having to log in. Their user-friendliness and site design even earned the praise of security researchers familiar with the darknet market scene.
“Since our first days it was pretty clear for us that we will never do an exit scam like some other markets,” read the PGP-signed message posted on Cannazon. “The massive DDOS attack was a very good chance to lower the number of orders and we decided to keep the market partially offline afterwards,” it explained, concluding with upbeat wishes for the future:
“We hope that every one of you finds some good alternative for buying or selling cannabis products. Moreover, we hope that other markets will follow this path and consider retiring gracefully.”