Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Mexican Cartels in the Cannabis Honey Oil Extraction Business in the US

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Zeta y DEA
  Mexican Drug Cartels in the clandestine business of cannabis extracts in San Diego, California

By:  Inés García Ramos
With a greater demand for marijuana derivatives such as oil and cannabis honey in the US market, the DEA notices the presence of cartels behind sophisticated laboratories located in San Diego. One gram of these substances can be sold for up to $ 80, four times the cost of one gram of methamphetamine, so the market has become very lucrative.

The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) warned not only of the increase in clandestine laboratories to extract oil and honey from cannabis in San Diego County, California, but also the incursion of cartels to produce industrial quantities of these derivatives which are sold up to $ 80 per gram, both in the black market and in authorized establishments.

Although in 2018 the legislation that allows the consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes in California became effective, the San Diego County prosecutor, Christina Eastman, details that the secondary laws and regulations that regulate the elaboration of derivatives have not yet been issued of cannabis, so the California government is not in a position to issue operating licenses.

However, this has not slowed down its installation. Steve Woodland, special agent of the DEA, points out that the legalization of drugs does not mean the eradication of the black market, since many of the organizations and individuals related to the sale of drugs continue to do so clandestinely to avoid paying taxes .

Authorities even confirmed the discovery of these products obtained illegally for sale in authorized marijuana dispensaries.

SAN DIEGO Laboratories Supply National Demand:

In 2019, the DEA has detected 19 laboratories dedicated exclusively for the extraction of these products in residential areas such as El Cajon and Lemon Grove, while in 2018 28 such sites were closed. Therefore, if this trend continues, 2019 could close with an increase of 35 %.

In the presence of more laboratories, mainly in residential areas, there have been two explosions so far this year that left four people injured, who worked in clandestine laboratories.

San Diego County HAZMAT and San Diego City HAZMAT responded to assist with clean-up of this extensive laboratory operation.
The reason why these sites represent a public safety risk -explained agents involved in detection and seizure operations- is that during the oil extraction process, solvents such as butane and ethyl alcohol are used, which with only one spark from electrical circuits or nearly anything else , can cause explosions.

It is precisely the easy acquisition of these solvents, for example butane, is sold in cans available in convenience stores, allowing teens and drug users to start the extraction process guided by videos on the internet.

Extraction is the process of removing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, from marijuana plant material using a solvent. The final product, a concentrated oil, can be up to 90 percent pure. Hash oil is often consumed in e-cigarettes and vaporizers, found in edible products like cookies, brownies and gummy candies, topicals/lotions, tinctures, capsules and patches.

“Manufacturing concentrated THC products pose an inherent threat to public safety due to the flammable solvents utilized in the extraction process,” said Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers. “The labs DEA NTF are encountering are more sophisticated, commercial laboratories than those encountered in past years and the numbers are increasing.”
However, the DEA has indications that behind the most sophisticated laboratories, with equipment valued at up to $2,000,000  dollars, is the structure of the drug cartels already operating in San Diego.

Records from the agency indicate that, in 2016, 65% of the cannabis oil and honey sold in the United States was produced in California.

For Paul Hequist, special agent of the DEA, this is due to the proximity of the border, which makes it easier for marijuana to remain in the region to distribute its derivatives throughout the United States.

For his part, Steve Woodland compared the multiplication of these clandestine laboratories with the crisis of methamphetamines in the nineties, this because although a greater number of laboratories was located in the East Coast and the center of the EU, the few laboratories in the border strip of California with Mexico, they produced the largest quantities of drugs. The same is true now with these cannabis extracts.
In one of the laboratories recently found, authorities confiscated amounts of cannabis oil that exceeded $ 4 million.

Regarding the penalties that may be received by persons related to the operation of these laboratories, the San Diego County Prosecutor's Office reported that the sentences range from three to seven years in prison. However, if there are aggravating factors such as the presence of children (child abuse) or fire, the sentences increase.

Matthew Sutton, of the Southern District Attorney's Office of California, added that the crime could become federal when arms or cash are located on the site and if the operation of sales and distribution networks is verified.

He reported that investigations have thrown the use of the dark web or dark network, a clandestine market through the Internet for the supply of these products, also represents aggravating of the federal crime.

Finally, the special agent of the DEA, Steve Woodland, said that it is not about supporting or rejecting the legalization of the use of marijuana, but about avoiding situations that put the community at risk, either due to the lack of regulation of the products that are manufactured in these laboratories, or the risks that lead to possible explosions.

If you are aware of an illegal hash oil extraction laboratory in your neighborhood, please call DEA at (858) 616-4100.

34 comments:

  1. Does anyone know if the cartels have labs like this in Mexico, and transport the cannabis oil over the border to US operatives and others. Would the oil be cheaper to purchase this way, in 55 gallon quantities. Why are the cartels manufacturing this oil in San Diego? Relieves them of task of having to transport over the border? Is every lab in America cartel run?

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    Replies
    1. The quality of cannabis is better in California. If they blow crude and then make cartridges it is more favorable to do it off California trim.

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    2. very good point, but cant they make it in mexico off their own hydroponic or indoor grow and then make the oil there and ship to usa?

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    3. They are not making shatter they are making clear(thc distallite). Clear can be made with any quality and still same result

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    4. Cartels r Brilliant. They have experience in growing MG. They can produce it cheaper and market it cheaper. U.S. companies can't compete.

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    5. Do you know which Cartel is making cannabis oil in Mexico and shipping it to USA? And where is point if origen? I am not law enforcement nor a drug trafficker.

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  2. Meth is only $20/gram??

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    Replies
    1. Sadly in Sd yes lol cheaper.. loco people

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    2. Cheaper than that

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    3. Yes. A 3.5 is 30-60$ I don't even know how people are making $ off of it but than again idc.
      CDS nutthugger

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    4. $45 an eighth in Tucson.its sad really.

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    5. That shit is an epidemic were I live.if it was only 20 a gram it would be even worse...or maybe that's why it's gotn so bad.I hope it's not that cheap

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    6. not tryina sound like a know it all but tucson has em at 30$-45$,phx 40-80$, flagstaff Prescott 60-80$. Its a joke all that lil bit of $ & U get too much time its dumb. Its just not the buisness anymore. Prices vary on respect & how often your buying.. Get out the game b4 its too late your family loves you
      CDS nutthugger

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  3. Marijuana is legally sold in registered stores in California. So in this regard the cartels are selling or processing a legal product.
    Not unlike filling the tomato or melon market. The best melons get the best price.
    Selling/supplying marijuana in CA could, in time push the smarter cartels towards legitimacy and with that crime goes down in Mexico.
    Doubtful but possible.

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    Replies
    1. 7:50 I hope they don't make melons illegal,
      they are always the most delicious sight.
      --As for legitimacy, bet your behind the politicians are on it, already investing on oil extractors and shit...

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    2. Are you saying these labs are legal?

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    3. 9:54 labs are not legal in Mexico, in the US they even have conventions on grifa oil extractors and and their products.
      Politicians are investing in dispensaries, legal farms and illegal farms because there must be a lot of TAX EVASION, the butter on the bread of most influential US businessmen and politicians.

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    4. The labs are illegal. You need a permit to grow and produce on an industrial scale

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    5. 9:54 who cares? Melons are illegal to expose, that is absolute BS, It is like WHAT, do we need to move to Africa or the Amazonia to be happy?

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    6. Its already happening

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  4. Never heard of marijuana honey till now

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  5. Wait, I thought they said legalization was suppose to push out the cartels ? Idiots, frankly I fucking tired of the activist assholes coming out of berkely.

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    Replies
    1. No made them more profitable. Just stamp the bag Made in USA.

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  6. Its not honey and oil...it’s called honey oil due to the look and consistency of the product...and if done properly and safety precautions taken it’s simply not that dangerous particularly if your using alcohol as your solvent

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  7. Sounds like some racism to me. When white people do it they are “entrepreneurs” but if a brown person does they are in a cartel

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    Replies
    1. 11:12 👍👍👍

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    2. True indeed.. And there is a bunch of white people in san diego that are dispensary owners so they ARE getting away with it. They are not getting shut down seems like they only crack down on mexicans..

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  8. Terp Sauce is 🔥

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  9. Funny, not one of those labs busted in San Diego had anything to do with any cartels. White boys, and Arab Chaldeans . Lol get it right borderland.

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  10. I always wondered where the cheap "house" cartridges sold in Chula Vista came from. $15/gram of potent oil retail. Also thinking some of these are being packaged and sold as name brand cartridges.

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    Replies
    1. Right. The oil is being made in USA, not on Mexico.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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