U.S. Immigration and Customs
While there has been a drop in the number of B.C. grow-op seizures, marijuana production continues to thrive in Canada, the RCMP reported yesterday.
In its annual report on the state of illicit drugs, the RCMP estimate that Canada’s annual marijuana production is between 1,399 and 3,498 tonnes — 90 per cent of which is grown in B.C., Ontario and Quebec.
But while the number of grow-op seizures remained stable in Ontario and Quebec, police have noticed a decline in the number of seizures in B.C. since 2003.
Increased enforcement and a "displacement southwards," or brain drain, of people with the technical expertise and knowledge about setting-up and running grow-ops, is credited with the drop in drug busts.
The marijuana, the report said, is smuggled into the U.S. by various means, including commercial trucks and private vehicles.
In B.C., small private aircraft were used to transport drugs between remote forested areas near Harrison Hot Springs, B.C. and Bellingham, Wash.
The report concludes that the production of marijuana "remains an evolving and very lucrative industry, which continues to attract the attention of organized crime groups."
Outlaw motorcycle groups, like the Hells Angels, and Asian crime groups are the big players in the pot industry. The report noted that different organized crime groups collaborate to control all aspects of the marijuana trade.