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Foreign cartels make big business of black-market marijuana in legal states



Attorney General Jeff Sessions called it "one of the largest residential forfeiture actions in American history."

In early April, local and federal authorities descended upon 74 marijuana grow houses in the Sacramento area they say were underwritten by Chinese organized crime. They filed court paperwork to seize the properties, worth millions of dollars.

Federal officials allege that legal recreational marijuana states like California, Colorado and Washington, where enforcement of growing regulations is hit-or-miss, have been providing cover for transnational criminal organizations willing to invest big money to buy or rent property to achieve even bigger returns.

Chinese, Cuban and Mexican drug rings have purchased or rented hundreds of homes and use human trafficking to bring inexperienced growers to the United States to tend them, federal and local officials say. >>>