Trafficking from Mexico Continues to Decline as States Legalize

In a new report, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) claims as more cannabis is grown locally in the United States, it is diminishing illegal marijuana smuggling from Mexico. The DEA didn’t say that as the legalization movement has grown, more Americans have been purchasing weed from licensed and regulated businesses. Still, it has been stated that there is evidence to show that Mexican cannabis has primarily been replaced by US-grown cannabis, to the surprise of almost nobody. 

Once Upon A Time In Mexico

Mexican weed was the holy grail for pot smokers in the United States. However, in the emerging world of legal marketplaces and connoisseur cannabis, consumers in this country are turning to the weed grown on home soil right here in the States. 

As one would expect, this is putting a dent in the amount of illegal, unregulated cannabis coming across the border. And with the ongoing legalization of pot throughout the US, the flow from Mexico is predictably drying up.  

Add to this that marijuana is still very much illegal in Mexico, increasing the expense and time it takes to bring the product over the border. The added wrinkle is that most of the trade is controlled by cartels, who aren’t exactly the most upstanding business people. 

A Question of Quality 

Mexican weed is commonly considered to be of poorer quality because it’s cultivated in quantity outside; it’s usually dried but not adequately cured, like in the United States with connoisseur-grade cannabis. It’s also bricked up, which means compacted, for selling and packing and getting it through the border quickly. THC in American cannabis is often 10 to 20%, whereas THC in so-called Mexican brick weed is typically 3 to 8%. 

Because local marijuana in the United States, some of which is grown in high-tech facilities, is of substantially superior grade, the price of Mexican pot keeps falling due to its inferior quality.

With the ease of access to better quality, more effective pot, why would the average US consumer buy a more expensive product of inferior quality? 

Made In America

Marijuana grown in the United States is on the upswing. This is due in part to multiple states having now approved cannabis for medicinal or medical consumption. As a result, Americans tend to be purchasing domestic marijuana, undercutting Mexican producers and cartels.

Speaking of homegrown, as shown in a new report from the federal US Sentencing Commission, federal marijuana charges plummeted in 2021, with fewer than 1,000 persons charged in marijuana trafficking cases (USCC). As the legalization process gains traction in additional states, this is yet more evidence that weed has become a decreased police priority.

There’s also a new twist in the story of Mexican weed. Operators in the United States are apparently buying high-potency American cannabis and transporting it back to Mexico for resale to consumers looking for a better product; how the tables have turned indeed. 

 



A Final Word

As stated earlier, the trafficking of marijuana from Mexico has begun grinding to a halt is no real surprise; in fact, almost everyone in the industry saw it coming a mile off. It makes sense that no one wants to buy an inferior product that could get them in trouble with the law. The legal American cannabis market is growing in leaps and bounds, with more choice, better quality, and most importantly, a safe and controlled environment to buy and enjoy the herb in. 

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