National Security

‘Astonishing’: DCNF Reporter Details How Rural America Is Being Overtaken By Chinese Illegal Marijuana Grows

Screenshot//Sky News Australia

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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Rural Maine has been taken over by roughly 270 suspected Chinese illegal marijuana grows and law enforcement doesn’t seem to be heeding the communities’ calls for help, Daily Caller News Foundation Jennie Taer said on Sky News Australia.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned about the grow operations that could be making an estimated $4.37 billion in revenue, which can be used for more crimes or are sent back to China, the DCNF exclusively reported in August. The DCNF visited dozens of properties identified as suspected Chinese illegal marijuana grows by DHS and The Maine Wire. (RELATED: Chinese Nationals Are Illegally Crossing The Border In Record Numbers, New Data Shows)

“What we found is just an astonishing situation, where you have these operating in plain sight in rural Maine and the communities there have alerted law enforcement to this issue, but no one seems to be doing anything about this,” Taer said.

The marijuana from the illicit operations is often smuggled through Interstate 95, which provides a route all the way to Florida and to other areas of the county, according to the DHS memo.

“The memo came out over the summer, that was the federal government that was warning about this, and then, of course, local police and local sheriffs know about this issue, but all of these sites seem to be still active from what we’ve seen,” Taer added.

Mainers voted legalize marijuana recreationally in the state in 2016, while medical use has been legal since 1999. In 2020, the sale of recreational marijuana officially became law.

Maine residents who are at least 21 years old can grow up to three mature plants and 12 immature plants for personal use, according to the state’s Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP).

“One of them was across the street from a daycare and reeked of marijuana. They’re taking up the rural power supply, causing blackouts for their neighbors, they’re doing all kinds of things that are making the community feel very insecure, but they also feel forgotten because no one is heeding their warnings or their calls for law enforcement to go after these people,” Taer said.

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