November 1, 2012

Mexican Group’s Study a Mixed Bag for Marijuana Legalization Efforts in 3 US States

Image for marijuana studies

A new study released by an influential Mexican think tank could bolster campaigns to legalize marijuana in Colorado, Oregon and Washington ahead of the election. Or it could hurt those efforts.

It all depends on how you look at it.

The report – released by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness – surmises that legalization in any of the three states could slash profits of drug cartels in Mexico significantly (by $1.4 billion if Colorado passes its marijuana bill, $1.4 billion if Washington legalizes cannabis and $1.8 billion if Oregon approves its measure).

This can be seen as a powerful argument in favor of marijuana legalization, as it would keep marijuana money inside the United States and represent a major blow to the ruthless cartels behind a horrifying wave of violence in Mexico.

Betty Aldworth, advocacy director for the legalization campaign in Colorado, said the study helps validate the group’s message.

“If we regulate and control the marijuana market in Colorado, it will end the flow of¬†marijuana¬†profits from Colorado to the cartels in Mexico and elsewhere,” Aldworth said. “Coloradans are deeply concerned about the impacts of the war on marijuana in Mexico, and appreciate that moving marijuana sales off the streets and behind a counter will chip away at the cartels’ power both here in Colorado and abroad. This is one of the reasons we are seeing strong and growing support for Amendment 64 in the Latino community.”

But opponents to the legalization measures could use the study to their benefit.

According to the report, Mexican drug cartels would see a steep decline in profits because a significant amount of marijuana produced legally in Colorado, Oregon or Washington would find its way to nearby states, where it would be sold illegally at cheaper prices than Mexican cannabis smuggled into the country.

In other words, the study assumes states that legalize cannabis would become major marijuana producers for the rest of the US and that a hefty amount of diversion will take place. The other concern is that the Mexican drug cartels would try to get involved in the legal marijuana business, which would open up another can of worms.

Aldworth and other legalization supporters, however, take issue with the report’s assertion that a high level of diversion will take place, saying that US laws would still prevent cannabis from being transported across state lines. They stress that the underlying conclusion of the report – drug cartels will take a huge hit – still rings true if no (or limited) diversion takes place.


  1. I wonder if the fact that in states like Washington there will a 25-75% increase in price of state sold marijuana (depending on how many time it was taxed before it got to the store front). This could drive up the price of legally sold marijuana creating a market for cheaper illegally produced Mexican marijuana.

  2. I don’t see the opposition’s argument here. Is the point that its better for the black market to be operating out of Mexico than in Colorado? The black market is the black market. It would be a zero sum gain at worst, and arguably it would be easier for law enforcement to catch interstate traffic and certainly less violent for Mexicans.

  3. Anything that stops illegal import into the country, anything that helps to regulate and control the overall quality and health benefits, anything that strengthens our economy, or anything that shuts down illegal cartel operations is all for the greater good of this movement. So LEAGALIZE!

  4. Wrong, there is enough local black market, to satisfy the local and expanding markets.

  5. If diversion really does become a problem (which likely it won’t) we can solve that pretty simply by legalization at the federal level… Just sayin’

  6. If you are seeking an opportunity to get into this industry be warned, you cannot unless you already have two years residency in Colorado. BUT, there is an exciting way for you to make some money by lending to the industry. As they said in the report there are no banks who will lend to dispensaries, no matter how much profit they generate. That’s where you come in… if you can lend $5,000 to $250,000 for a short time and you want to earn an interest rate from 10% to 30% then please contact me today at: mmjviceroy at g

    Then you can tell all your friends you are “in” the medical marijuana industry and more importantly you can help sick patients get access to the same high potency cannabis they purchase now for less money than they pay today.

Post Your Comment:

Please note:
Comments are moderated by our editors who do their best to approve comments ASAP. As Marijuana Business Daily is focused on business, we approve comments that are specifically relevant to industry professionals. General opinions and questions about cannabis may not be posted.

PharmaCann Poised to Hold Most IL Licenses


After a medical marijuana company abandoned its cultivation license on Monday in an area west [click to continue...]

WA Could Outlaw Marijuana Vending Machines

Washington State entrepreneurs hoping to sell marijuana through vending machines or drive-up windows took a [click to continue...]

Cannabis Producers Have New Worry: Stoned Rabbits

Cannabis businesses face opposition from anti-marijuana advocates worried about the drug falling into the hands [click to continue...]

Nevada Senator: Secrecy in MMJ Licensing Process a ‘Disaster’

Las Vegas MMJ

Nearly 40% of the 519 businesses that applied for medical cannabis business licenses in Nevada [click to continue...]

Florida’s Second Stab at CBD Rules Questioned

Florida is having a hard time figuring out rules for its CBD industry. The state [click to continue...]

Maine Medical Cannabis Sales Total $16.2M

Dispensaries in Maine sold an estimated $16.2 million worth of medical cannabis last year, while [click to continue...]

Oregon Agency Weighs in on MMJ, Rec Rules


Oregon could keep medical marijuana completely separate from recreational cannabis when retail sales begin next [click to continue...]

Missouri Awards Hemp Cultivation Licenses

Missouri has joined the growing number of states legalizing CBD-based medicines. The state awarded cultivation [click to continue...]

150K Pounds of Legal Marijuana Sold in CO Last Year

Dispensaries and retail cannabis stores in Colorado sold nearly 150,000 pounds of marijuana flower last [click to continue...]

Medical Cannabis Demand Outweighing Supply in DC

supply and demand

Recreational marijuana has dominated headlines out of Washington DC this week, as the use, possession [click to continue...]

Another Lawsuit Over MMJ Licensing Process in Illinois

A company that got turned down for one of the Illinois’ 21 medical marijuana cultivation [click to continue...]

MJ Financial Services Firm Secures $2M Investment

A financial services firm that plans to serve the cannabis industry has secured $2 million [click to continue...]

Alaska’s Largest City Enacts MJ Concentrates Rules


Alaska marijuana entrepreneurs who want to specialize in infused products or extracts will have to [click to continue...]

Washington DC Mayor Seeks to Ban ‘Cannabis Clubs’

With private marijuana use on track to become legal in Washington DC on Thursday barring [click to continue...]