The Mexican Army claimed on September 26 that soldiers discovered a 43-acre (17.4-hectare) marijuana farm in the northern border state of Chihuahua, AP reported.
The Army estimated that the fields could produce 11 tonnes (22,000 kg) of marijuana. The fields were discovered in a small township near Creel, in Mexico’s Copper Canyon region.
While Mexico’s Supreme Court ordered the government to grant licences for the personal use of marijuana and restricted amounts of marijuana plants in June, large-scale marijuana cultivation remained prohibited.
According to the army, soldiers cut down the tall marijuana plants and torched them.
Crime groups turn to alcohol & logging as Marijuana profits dry up in Mexico
Mexico is the United States’ primary foreign marijuana supplier, but its share of the market has shrunk significantly since 2013, prompting certain criminal organisations to adapt and seek alternative sources of funding.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment, “Mexican marijuana has mostly been overtaken by domestic-produced marijuana” as more states move toward legalisation.
Marijuana seizures along the southwest US-Mexico border fell by more than 81% between 2013 and 2020, implying that Mexican criminal groups have drastically reduced their marijuana trafficking operations, according to the report.
According to a 2016 assessment by a Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) researcher analysing drug cultivation, Chihuahua is Mexico’s second-largest marijuana producer behind Sinaloa, accounting for 20% of national production. The Sierra Tarahumara, a large network of canyons and mountains, is responsible for most of this.