Maine — Hotbed of Illegal Chinese/Cartel Drug Operations

What do you think of when you think of Maine?

The Portland Head Lighthouse in Maine, USA at sunrise.

Seems a bit odd, no? Maine a hotbed of Chinese/cartel drug ops? No way! Maine? Lighthouses, lobster rolls? That Maine? I thought it highly unlikely until I began to read about it.

Here are the facts.

 1. Maine voted on 8 November 2016 to legalize marijuana for recreational/medical purposes and issues commercial growers’ licenses.

 2. The regulatory scheme has an almost complete requirement that everybody involved be a Maine resident — owners, corporations, boards of directors. No outsiders.

 3. Law enforcement is still getting its feet on the ground as it relates to the new regulatory and legal environment.

 4. Maine is wild country with lots of rural areas and tons of timberlands. Easy place to hide an illegal weed grow operation.

 5. Almost 300 rural illegal marijuana grow operations have been identified in Maine with all of them run by persons of Chinese descent. They are often Chinese who hold green cards or legal residency so they cannot be deported to China.

 6. Most of the output of these illegal grow operations is distributed interstate.

Those are the basic facts.

How are the cartels involved, Big Red Car?

Good question. The cartels are financing the Chinese growers.

 1. Cartels make a bloody fortune in cash in the US. They make so much money and it is such a pain in the ass to move around, they often shred $1, $5, $10 bills.

 2. The biggest problem facing the cartels is to get their money out of the United States physically and then to launder it.

 3. The cartels finance the acquisition of rural property for the Chinese to grow marijuana. This means the cartels don’t have to get their money out of the United States. It is reinvested in the US.

Follow the money, Big Red Car?

Yes, indeed. The cartels finance the property acquisition and underwrite operations.

The Chinese operate the illegal grows.

The Chinese sell the weed interstate — it can be legal to grow marijuana in Maine, but it is wildly illegal to distribute it interstate. This is not legally grown marijuana to start with.

The Chinese and the cartels split their profits with the Chinese sending their money back to China.

It is also suspected that the cartels are using their proceeds in China to purchase fentanyl or precursor chemicals to make fentanyl.

Bottom line it, Big Red Car

The legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use has a complicated network of related issues. Rather than dampening illegal activity, in Maine it is the wild west with China and the cartels involved.

Who saw this coming?

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be well, amigos.

Classic American Maine Lobster Roll Sandwich. Large Chucks of Fresh Caught Lobster Meat served with Drawn Butter.