HomeNewsBriefAre Mexico Marijuana Growers Becoming More Sophisticated?
BRIEF

Are Mexico Marijuana Growers Becoming More Sophisticated?

MEXICO / 27 JUL 2015 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

The seizure in Mexico of an advanced marijuana growing operation that used foreign expertise may indicate local growers are seeking to produce a higher-quality product in response to shifts in US drug policy.

On July 26, Mexico’s National Security Commission (CNS) announced the seizure of three greenhouses in the state of Jalisco where “genetically modified” marijuana was being grown, reported EFE.

Two of the greenhouses had an approximate floor space of 2,200 meters squared, with the third around 1,800 meters squared (see video below). There, authorities found "genetically enhanced" marijuana plants. 

Around 7,000 plants of differing sizes were seized and 25 people arrested. Among those detained were three Mexicans and 22 Colombians, who had apparently been brought to Mexico due to their expertise in growing improved strains of marijuana. One of the Colombians was identified as responsible for teaching the operation how to successfully clone the plants. This is a cheaper and faster way than growing marijuana from seed, and also allows cultivators to stick with a preferred strain. 

On July 25, a second police operation in the state of Nayarit resulted in the seizure of five marijuana plantations, a total of 15,000 square meters.  According to EFE, authorities destroyed around 149 tons of marijuana.

InSight Crime Analysis

Mexico is a major marijuana producer, and has long been one of the largest suppliers of marijuana for the US market. Yet marijuana from Mexico has earned a reputation for being inferior in quality, especially when compared with that grown in the United States and Canada.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

However, the existence of large greenhouses using foregin "expertise" to grow what appears to be improved marijuana strains has little precedent in Mexico. Such a discovery may be an indication Mexican marijuana growers are seeking to become more sophisticated in order to remain competitive amid shifting dynamics in the US market.

These shifts have been driven by marijuana decriminalization and legalization in a number of US states. This has given rise to advanced, industrial-scale grow-ops in places like Colorado that can now legally develop, produce, and sell high-quality marijuana -- some of which appears to be making its way to neighboring states.

This is potentially undercutting US demand for Mexican-produced marijuana. While evidence suggests Mexican drug traffickers have increased heroin and methamphetamine production to offset this lost revenue, it is also possible that Mexican traffickers may be attempting to increase the quality of their marijuana strains, in order to more effectively compete in the US market.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EXTORTION / 1 DEC 2011

As Mexico's security situation has deteriorated, small-time criminals have attempted to take advantage of the chaos by claiming to be…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 18 FEB 2015

Mexico has refuted the findings of a United Nations committee on the country's enforced disappearances while welcoming input from a…

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 JAN 2016

Spanish authorities have detained the ex-governor of Mexico's northern Coahuila state on corruption charges, a case that highlights the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…