The South Bend Tribune reports black market dealers are importing high-grade marijuana from Colorado and Washington, the two states that legalized recreational pot. The demand for great ganja has led to a spike in prices with an ounce fetching as much as $800, triple the price cannabis lovers typically pay for shawg weed from Mexico and South America.
The Tribune interviewed Guy Baker, resident agent in charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s regional office in Merrillville, who said:
“Historically, we would get truckloads of weed from Mexico, but now it’s apparent that some of this weed, especially the higher quality weed, is coming from states where you purchase recreational marijuana. The supply chain is growing, and the black market is thriving with people that are selling legally grown marijuana from these states.”
Since January, the DEA intercepted three shipments of marijuana grown and packaged in Colorado. However, authorities in nearby Elkhart County said police have no investigations tied to Colorado and Washington grown marijuana, but have seen an increase in dealers boasting they have high-grade marijuana for sale.
Indiana law enforcement authorities are also getting schooled on popular slang terms for high-quality marijuana like the use of the word “loud” to describe potent cannabis. “The prices are way up,” said Sgt. John Mortakis, who has been involved in drug investigations since the 1980s. “They call this stuff ‘Loud,’ it comes from Colorado and Washington, and it goes for $200 to $400, and even up to 800 bucks an ounce.”
Baker told the Tribune, Colorado and Washington pot growers can make more money selling on the black market since they don’t have to pay state taxes and can demand premium prices. “It’s all high-quality, high-grade marijuana, and they’re able to sell it for additional cost here,” Baker said. “They even market it as the best stuff they have in Colorado.”
Of course, cops blame the influx of high-quality marijuana for a recent rise in street robberies. Apparently, thieves are targeting dealers and buyers walking around with larger wads of cash, particularly in South Bend, home to Notre Dame University, where armed robberies have increased 15 percent since 2012.
“There’s a lot of people walking around with a lot of cash in their pockets, and they’re getting robbed, and it’s marijuana deals that go bad,” said Capt. Phil Trent, a South Bend police spokesman. “It completely raises the stakes.”