The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is being called upon to divulge information regarding the alarming rise of illegal cannabis cultivation operations associated with Chinese nationals across the country.
In August last year, a group of lawmakers from Maine sent an initial letter to the DOJ asking it to address the sharp rise in illegal cultivation operations run by Chinese nationals.
According to reports at the time, 270 Chinese-run illegal growth operations worth an estimated $4.37bn were found in Maine.
Now a follow-up letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, has been penned by a bipartisan cohort of 50 members of congress from numerous states to address these concerns.
The letter expresses deep concern about the involvement of Chinese organized crime in the illicit cultivation of cannabis within the US. It specifically seeks information on the DOJ’s efforts to investigate the Chinese Communist Party’s role, the extent of awareness regarding unlicensed marijuana farms, the impact of state legalization on these operations, and the potential redirection of revenue from CCP-funded farms to China.
“We write to follow-up to our August 23, 2023, letter regarding reports of a memo that was produced and circulated by Border Patrol officials over alleged illegal Chinese marijuana growing operations in the state of Maine,” the letter said.
“Since that time, there have been multiple raids across the state; since the beginning of this year, police have arrested eight people and seized more than 4,400 cannabis plants at four growing sites in Belgrade, China, and Cornville, Maine.”
The DOJ has until February 23 to respond to the seven questions posed in the letter.