Maine again seeking DOJ crackdown on illicit Chinese cannabis grows

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All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation are once again asking the U.S. Department of Justice to take action against what they called “illegal Chinese-owned marijuana operations” in the state.

The follow-up letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, released Tuesday, was signed by Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, as well as Democratic Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree.

The lawmakers sent their original request for help to the Justice Department last August.

In their Jan. 25 follow-up, the delegation wrote, “Since that time, there have been multiple raids across the state; since the beginning of this year, police have arrested eight people and seized more than 4,400 cannabis plants at four growing sites in Belgrade, China, and Cornville, Maine.”

The letter called on the DOJ “and other federal partners to provide additional support for these efforts.”

The August letter noted that “illegal growing operations are detrimental to Maine businesses that comply with state laws, and we urge the Department of Justice to shut them down.”

Both letters posed specific questions to the DOJ, seeking information about issues such as the agency’s actions against illicit marijuana production.

The follow-up letter also asks whether the DOJ needs “additional support … from Congress to support Maine law enforcement in these efforts.”