The method came to light after police seized 126 kilograms of cannabis buds worth over HK$26.7 million in 63 dog food packages on Monday inside a truck.

Its 49-year-old driver, Chan, has been charged with one count of trafficking in dangerous drugs, which is punishable by a fine of up to HK$5 million and life imprisonment.

He will appear in Tuen Mun magistrates' court today. Police alleged that Chan is responsible for transporting the drugs across the city.

Chan's truck was intercepted Monday evening at the junction of Ma Tin and Ma Tong roads in Yuen Long following a tipoff, Narcotics Bureau chief inspector Ip Sau-lan said. It is not known if sniffer dogs were used.

"Police found 63 of the dog food packages contained cannabis buds packed in 252 lock-seal bags," Ip said.

"The police will further investigate the source and sales channels of the drugs, and further arrests are possible," she said.

The rising use of cannabis in recent years, Ip added, could be linked to the drug's legalization in some Western countries and drug traffickers' active presence on social media.

"Youngsters thereby have the misconception that the harm from cannabis use is not grave and that the drug is not harmful to health," she said.

Ip appealed to parents to pay attention to their children, who might approach drug traffickers online with ease while staying at home during the summer amid the pandemic.

She noted that between January and last month, 324 cannabis cases were recorded - more than double the 153 in the corresponding period last year.

Also reflecting that exponential growth is the number of arrests -from 185 to 415.

Police seized 528 kilograms of cannabis during this period, which amounted to 80 percent of the quantity snared for the whole of last year.