SOUTH BEND, Ind. — An influx of high-grade marijuana has made its way to northern Indiana from western states that have legalized recreational pot, contributing to a spike in local prices and raising concerns that it could add to black-market drug activity and the crime that comes along with it.
Fueled by an increasing demand for potent, carefully grown marijuana, dealers are bringing product from Colorado and Washington state to the Midwest, where it can fetch as much as $800 per ounce — far more than the pot commonly imported from Mexico and South America and triple the traditional price for weed in this area, police told the South Bend Tribune.
“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,” said Guy Baker, resident agent in charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s regional office in Merrillville.
“The supply chain is growing, and the black market is thriving with people that are selling legally grown marijuana from these states.”
Baker said DEA agents this year have intercepted three shipments of marijuana that was grown and packaged in Colorado. One shipment was being carried in a Greyhound bus, and individual dealers were apparently bringing the other two shipments back to Indiana after trips to Colorado.
South Bend police, meanwhile, recently uncovered several packages of weed from western states while conducting routine drug interdictions with police dogs at local postal facilities and shipping distribution centers.
And in Elkhart County, police have noticed an increase in marijuana advertised by dealers as a high-grade product, but no …read more