China has emerged as a fresh financial resource for the illegal #marijuana market
Just before Christmas, law enforcement officials discovered nearly 9,000 pounds of cannabis worth almost $15 million during a raid in Antioch, California.
The California Department of Cannabis Control suspects that the four houses searched in the suburban neighborhood were linked to China, indicating that Chinese investors, owners, and workers have become a new source of funding and labor for illegal marijuana production in recent years.
In Oklahoma, close to 3,000 of the state's nearly 7,000 licensed marijuana farms have been flagged for suspicious activity by law enforcement, with roughly 2,000 of them believed to have a Chinese connection.
The increasing amount of Chinese funding has caught the attention of lawmakers and law enforcement officials, who are concerned about the potential influence of the Chinese Communist Party. Much is still unknown about Chinese-funded cannabis cultivation, including the source of the money and the extent of involvement by Chinese organized crime syndicates.