Legal weed in the United States is undercutting Mexican competition.
With either recreational or medical marijuana legal in more than half of U.S. states, drug cartels south of the border are beginning to find that growing, smuggling and distributing pot is a much less lucrative business.
What’s happening: NPR’s John Burnett reported from the ground in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, where drug-related crime is so intense that its coverage is now restricted. One farmer told him that business was not going so well:
“Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90,” says Nabor, a 24-year-old pot grower … “But now they’re paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It’s a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they’ll run us into the ground.”
If the price slumps to $20 a kilogram, Nabor speculates that the Mexican weed market will collapse. The culprit, Burnett says, is much better domestic weed proudly made in America:
U.S.-grown marijuana – some of it cultivated in high-tech greenhouses – is three or four times more expensive than Mexican marijuana. [High Times editor Dan Vinkovetsky] says prices for Mexican weed continue to slide because it’s so much weaker. He says American cannabis typically has 10% to 20% THC, the ingredient that makes a person high, whereas the THC content of so-called Mexican brick weed is typically 5% to 8%.