Canadian cannabis can sell for $3,000 to $5,000 a pound on the illicit market in the U.S.
Canadian smugglers are using sophisticated techniques such as small submarines to get marijuana into the U.S., where a patchwork of laws ranging from full legalization to total prohibition creates economic opportunities, reported MLive.com.
“It’s about profit,” said Matthew Stentz, Detroit-based Homeland Security Investigations special agent. “Especially with the high-grade, potent stuff that’s being grown within the greenhouses. That is still very desirable in states where it’s not necessarily legal.”
Supply and Demand
Customs and Border Protection officials this year alone have seized nearly 15,000 pounds of marijuana at the Michigan border, predominantly in Detroit. That’s seven times as much as the 2,189 pounds seized in 2018.
Meanwhile in Buffalo, 1,071 pounds were seized in 2016, versus 41,000 in the fiscal year 2021.
Most of the Canadian-smuggled weed intercepted in Detroit It’s usually headed for states where demand -and prices- are higher (…) in states where marijuana is illegal, (…) Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Georgia,” Stentz said.
Earlier this year, Buffalo News reported that Customs and Border Protection officers based in Buffalo keep finding unprecedented amounts of marijuana.
The agency seized more than 40,000 pounds of marijuana in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, nearly 10 times more than was seized during the previous fiscal year.
Canadian cannabis can sell for $3,000 to $5,000 a pound on the illicit market in the U.S. “Clearly, the demand in the U.S. is great,” said Kevin Kelly, special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigations office in Buffalo.
“The plants grown inside greenhouses can produce flowers over four growing cycles a year. Then there’s the fact that the flower is a perishable product. You can’t store it so they just shotgun it through the border,” Kelly added.