There is a thriving and illegal U.S.-to-Mexico cannabis market developing, according to a Washington Post report. Relying on legal California dispensaries for their supplies, dealers in Mexico offer menus to clients featuring cannabis products procured north of the border, according to the Post.
It is believed the cannabis is often smuggled via airplane to Mexico from California or it is walked across the border at Tijuana pedestrian crossings. The report notes that 5,600 jars of cannabis gummies were recently seized from a car stopped at the Tijuana border crossing.
The Post quotes a Mexico City street vendor who says the demand for cannabis from the U.S. “has exploded.” He says cannabis produced in the U.S. is “aspirational” for many of his customers who want to “be seen smoking the best stuff, the stuff rappers brag about smoking.” The vendor estimates 60% of the cannabis he sells is from the States, the Post reports.
Josh Bubeck, the owner of Urbn Leaf, a dispensary close to the U.S.-Mexico border, estimates roughly 55% of his customers are Mexican nationals.
“Nobody is going to grow cannabis better than California probably ever. You’re showing ‘This is what I’m about. I’m a bad ass. I got this from America.’”— Bubeck to the Post
Mexico moved one step closer to national legalization when the country’s Supreme Court decriminalized adult-use cannabis by striking down the national cannabis prohibition laws in July. However, there remains no legal way to distribute cannabis products throughout the country.
Mexico’s head of Customs, Horacio Duarte Olivares, said in a statement that cross-border southbound trafficking is increasing but smugglers, “are going to run into a wall, with a firm hand from customs.”
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