Maine leaders urge DOJ to shut down foreign-owned, illegally operated marijuana businesses in state

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 1:42 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WABI) - Maine’s Congressional Delegation is urging the Department of Justice to shut down foreign-owned, illegally operated marijuana businesses in Maine.

Some of these reports identify Chinese ownership.

Back in June, four men were arrested and charged in a marijuana operation in Carmel.

Police say they found more than 3,400 individual marijuana plants, along with another 111 pounds of processed marijuana that was seized.

Now Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden have sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland to ask the DOJ to address this issue.

The letter comes in response to media reports indicating that there could be 270 suspected Chinese illegal marijuana growing operations in Maine worth an estimated four point $37 billion.

In their letter, the delegation said quote, “These reports of illegal growing operations within the state are alarming, and we are writing to request additional information about what the DOJ is doing to address this situation.”

They’re requesting answers to the following questions which include, how are the profits from these illegal operations being returned to the country of origin?

They’re also asking the DOJ if they’re aware of this alleged Chinese ownership or any other foreign involvement in these operations?

The Cannabis Legalization Act, passed by voters in 2016, established a regulatory framework governing adult cannabis use in Maine.

The legislation specifies regulations for tracking cannabis plants and product, enforcement and compliance, health and safety data, labeling and packaging, and licensing and fees.

Their full letter can be found here.