DENVER — Seeking a safe haven in Colorado’s legal marijuana marketplace, illegal drug traffickers are growing weed among the state’s sanctioned pot warehouses and farms, then covertly shipping it elsewhere and pocketing millions of dollars from the sale, according to law enforcement officials and court records consulted by The Associated Press.
In one case, the owner of a skydiving business crammed hundreds of pounds of Colorado pot into his planes and flew the weed to Minnesota, where associates allegedly sold it for millions of dollars in cash. In another, a Denver man was charged with sending more than 100 pot-filled FedEx packages to Buffalo, New York, where drug dealers divvied up the shipment.
Twenty other drug traffickers, many from Cuba, were accused of relocating to Colorado to grow marijuana that they sent to Florida, where it can fetch more than double the price in a legal Colorado shop.
These cases and others confirm a longstanding fear of marijuana opponents that the state’s much-watched experiment in legal pot would invite more illegal trafficking to other states where the drug is still strictly forbidden.