It all started in 2018 when the state of Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana.
Once the law passed, legal and illegal dispensaries popped up everywhere.
“We’re seeing issues in my state of Chinese nationals being shot execution-style in grow operations,” said U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.
Officials have found that Chinese organized crime taking advantage of cheap land and lax growing requirements, are fueling the black market. Of the 6,300 licensed marjijuana grow farms almost half of them are under investigation by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
From News Nation Now:
One operation in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, was raided for its ties to illegal black market sales. Authorities seized over 26,000 plants and 900 pounds of processed marijuana, an estimated street value of $24 million.
It’s been a race to grow in the Sooner State since medical marijuana was legalized in 2018. Since then, dispensaries and grow houses have popped up all around the land — both legal and illegal.
The illegal grow operations are also seeing human trafficking and prostitution rings on large scales. Jian Lin and Jianfa Zhou were arrested for running an illegal grow operation and sex trafficking undocumented Asian women.
Law enforcement officials say the illegal operations are wreaking havoc and they are struggling to deal with the size and scope.
“These proceeds from these black market organizations go back to the criminal organizations themselves that are involved in homicides, terrorism, extortion, arson and murder,” Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics said. “That is what you are supporting when you’re buying black market marijuana.”
“Chinese organizations are buying up land by the hundreds of thousands of acres,” said Lankford. “It’s bringing in labor, trafficking, human trafficking into the state … to be able to work these particular illegal grow operations. And then they’re then trucking it all over the country. So Oklahoma has become an epicenter of distributing marijuana across the country”
Chinese organized crime taking over rural Oklahoma , buying thousands of acres of land and turning them into illegal marijuana farms with links to sex and labor trafficking , prostitution rings and homicides – The Reality Of Legal Medical Marijuana @NewsNation pic.twitter.com/3h8RGvfbOe
— Jorge Ventura Media (@VenturaReport) May 4, 2023