Michigan, Georgia raids net thousands of cannabis plants, hundreds of pounds

Key Points
  • Michigan State Police seized over 4,000 marijuana plants, along with hundreds of pounds of processed and drying flower, in an alleged illegal grow operation in Highland Park, Detroit, valued at over $6 million.
  • The seizure in Georgia involved 11,153 marijuana plants hidden in a facility disguised as a fish farm, leading to the arrest of four Chinese nationals on charges of marijuana manufacturing and possession.
  • The total street value of the Georgia seizure was estimated at $22.3 million, with additional trafficking charges expected once the cannabis is processed and weighed.
  • The article also highlights the challenges in tracking and addressing the presence of Chinese nationals in illegal cannabis operations in the United States, with previous concerns raised in Maine and calls for action from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Recent law enforcement raids in Michigan and Georgia have resulted in the seizure of thousands of plants and hundreds of pounds of cannabis.

Michigan State Police seized an alleged illegal grow in the Detroit suburb of Highland Park, confiscating more than 4,000 marijuana plants, roughly 213 pounds of processed marijuana and 362 pounds of drying flower, Grand Rapids station Wood TV reported.

The value of the seizure was more than $6 million based on the going rate of $93 per ounce in the Michigan market.

Law enforcement officials did not disclose any arrests or potential criminal charges.

Growing marijuana in Michigan without a license is a misdemeanor.

In Georgia, Department of Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper and Pierce County Sheriff Ramsey Bennett announced the seizure of 11,153 marijuana plants.

The operators disguised the facility as a fish farm, according to Jacksonville TV station WJAX.

Four Chinese nationals were arrested in the investigation, which launched a month ago.

One was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the other three were in the U.S. legally, according to Atlanta TV station WAGA.

All four have been charged with marijuana manufacturing and possession, each a felony, and will face additional trafficking charges when the cannabis is dried and weighed.

Law enforcement officials estimated the street value of the seizure at $22.3 million, but government projections are often inflated since most ignore current market rates.

The rise of Chinese nationalists in the underground U.S. cannabis market has been difficult to track and substantiate.

In January, Maine’s congressional delegation again asked the U.S. Department of Justice to take action against what they called “illegal Chinese-owned marijuana operations” in the state.

The lawmakers sent their original request for help in August.