Gone are the days when Mexican pot smugglers snuck weed across the border into the U.S. Today, everyone wants their hands on California cannabis.
This is an interesting switch. The most sought-after weed exchanging hands at the U.S.-Mexico border is coming from the green fields of California and being sold in Mexico, instead of the other way around.
According to a Washington Post source who happens to be a cannabis dealer in Mexico City, California-imported weed dominates a booming boutique market in Mexico rather than weed from traditional sources such as the Sinaloa cartel or the newly independent “ethical growers.”
“The demand here for American weed has exploded,” said the WAPO source who spoke on the condition of anonymity for obvious reasons. “It’s aspirational for many of my clients. They want to be seen smoking the best stuff, the stuff rappers brag about smoking.”
No More Flinging Weed Across the U.S. Border
Gone are the days when Mexican pot smugglers catapulted bushels of weed across the border using the world’s largest slingshots, or stuffed vacuum-packed bricks into fruit shipments to slip across one of the longest (1,954 miles) and most frequently crossed land borders in the world.
Several hundred yards from the busy Tijuana border, Josh Bubeckowner, of the Urbn Leaf cannabis dispensary, estimates some 55% of his customers are Mexican nationals, he told WAPO.
California Weed: Nobody Grows It Better
“Nobody is going to grow cannabis better than California probably ever,” Bubeck said.
He noted that back in Mexico, especially for younger smokers, the appeal is clear: “You’re showing ‘This is what I’m about. I’m a bad ass. I got this from America.’”
For years, legalization advocates in Mexico argued that the country could easily establish a wildly profitable cannabis industry, but legalization came faster to parts of the U.S. — mostly importantly California — than its neighbor to the south.
This July, Mexico’s supreme court struck down laws that criminalized the cultivation of cannabis for personal use but have not yet approved legislation that would allow a commercial marijuana market to be set up, making it illegal to buy or sell cannabis and as impossible to regulate the quality of Mexican cannabis products available on the illegal market, noted WAPO.
Meanwhile, Mexico still grapples with the task of setting up a legal framework for a plant that grows like a weed in the Mexican countryside.