U.S. Cannabis Industry Undercutting Mexican Cartels

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

The legal marijuana industry in the United States has taken a big toll on Mexican cartels that had previously relied on cannabis for a sizable chunk of their profits, according to the Washington Post.

Citing data from the U.S. Border Patrol, the Post reported that seizures of smuggled cannabis over the U.S.-Mexico border have plummeted “to their lowest level in at least a decade.”

Border Patrol agents about 1.5 million pounds of cannabis, a more than 100% drop in seizures from 2009, when the agency corralled nearly 4 million pounds.

The Post cited an NPR story from December 2014 that quoted a Mexican cannabis grower as saying, “If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they’ll run us into the ground.”

The grower was referring to the immense drop in prices and demand for Mexican cannabis, and that was over 14 months ago.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has even already found examples of U.S. cannabis being smuggled into Mexico, an indication that the marijuana relationship between the two countries is undergoing a significant shift. Part of the reason, the Post speculated, could be due to U.S. cannabis being of higher quality than Mexican marijuana.