[Editor’s note: Maine, like Vermont, has established a legal, licensed, retail sales market of marijuana. Also like Vermont, it is legal in Maine to grow several plants for personal use.]
by Steve Robinson, Editor – Maine Wire
Illegal Chinese marijuana grows have taken over much of rural Maine.
The government is either incapable — or unwilling — to do anything about it.
The Maine Wire has identified more than 100 properties that are part of a sprawling network of Chinese-owned sites operating as unlicensed, illicit cannabis growing operations in rural Maine.
According to an unclassified memo from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) obtained by the Maine Wire, the illicit grows are operated by Asian Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs).
The properties cover Somerset County, Penobscot County, Kennebec County, Franklin County, Androscoggin County, and Oxford County.
The sites were purchased over the past three years by single adults, primarily from New York and Massachusetts, using cash or financing arranged through a handful of mortgage companies.
The Maine Wire investigation began following the leak of a separate DHS memo that revealed the existence of more than 270 such sites in Maine.
That memo, first reported by Jennie Taer of the Daily Caller News Foundation, offered the first public confirmation of what law enforcement officials have long known, but what neighbors to these properties and legal marijuana entrepreneurs have only suspected.
Namely, that Chinese foreign nationals are exploiting Maine’s lax marijuana laws, the Biden Administration’s immigration policies, and cheap real estate in rural Maine to grow a fortune using exploited illegal alien laborers.