Marijuana legalization advocates have long argued that a regulated cannabis market would undercut Mexican drug cartels. Now some pot growers in Mexico — and police in the U.S. — say they’re seeing signs that government-regulated cannabis in Washington and Colorado is chipping into marijuana production south of the border, reports NPR.
NPR’s John Burnett spoke with a marijuana grower in the Mexican state of Sinaloa who said prices are dropping and he’s worried he’s soon going to be out of business. Two years ago, Mexican pot, viewed by American connoisseurs as inferior to domestic cannabis, fetched as much as $ 90 a kilo (about 2.2 pound), the farmer told Burnett. Today is sells for between $ 30 and $ 40.
Two years ago, the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness, in a study titled “If Our Neighbors Legalize,” predicted the drug cartels would see their cannabis profits plummet 22 to 30 percent if the United States continued to decriminalize marijuana.
At one time, virtually all the weed smoked in the States, from Acapulco Gold to Colombian Red, came from south of the border.
“We’re still seeing marijuana. But it’s almost all the homegrown stuff here from the States and from Canada. It’s just not the compressed marijuana from Mexico that we see,” says Lt. David Socha, of the Austin Police Department narcotics section.
The Mexican grower interviewed by Burnett said he’s already looking for other opportunities. One option: opium poppies because, he told Burnett. ” that’s where the market is going.”
— Noelle Crombie