Weed recently seized by US Coast Guard not really worth $7.7 million
July 28, 2012 | 12:38 a.m. PST
On Wednesday a U.S. Coast Guard crew seized 8,500 pounds of marijuana off the coast of San Pedro, south of Los Angeles. The San Francisco-based Coast Guard Cutter Aspen was the boat that made the huge bust.
According to Capt. James Jenkins, commander of the Coast Guard’s Los Angeles/Long Beach Sector, “Stopping these drugs from reaching our streets is a great accomplishment, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg with respect to the impact on the drug trafficking organizations.” He further stated that, “The money from marijuana trafficking fuels a wider cycle of drug smuggling, crime and violence.”
The Coast Guard also said that of the 56 total seizures they seized 50-tons of marijuana drugs since October 1, 2011, and this is four times the amount seized in the same area during the entire previous fiscal year. According to the US Coast guard, the 8,500 pounds of weed is worth $7.7 million and the 50-tons seized is worth $90 million.
Doing the Math
The 8,500 pounds of Mexican weed seized by US Coast Guard, that is being valued at $7.7 million is often identified as “stress” in California, Nevada, Arizona, and most places on the west coast and Southwestern area of the US and does not cost or has the value the Coast Guard is claiming.
The Coast Guard is putting the value of $900.00 per pound on the recent seizure and in their 50-ton collective seizures they have used the same value. The weed from Mexico does not carry that value in California or the western part of the US. In California, pounds of the weed from Mexico sell for about $350.00 each, retail, if buying a small number of pounds. If one purchases multiple pounds of weed, a wholesale price per pound can come down to $250.00 each. Using these more realistic price values the 8,500 pounds is worth between $2.1 and 2.9 million, much lower than the Coast Guard estimates.
In Mexico, where this weed was grown, pounds retail for about $20.00 each, which would value the entire seizure at $170 thousand.
Once the weed is sold by the pounds in the western US, street dealers may resell it in quarter pounds ($120) or ounces ($40) and those can be further broken down to $20 and $10 bags. Determining a value using these calculations are impossible to calculate, because the weed is going to be sold in many different types of quantities. But if one wanted to know how much would someone earn by selling the entire 8,500 pounds via $10 bags (3 grams), that dealer would earn $12.6 million. You would need about 630,000 small baggies to “curb serve” the entire load.
As a rule, 2 tons (4,000 pounds) of Mexican weed is worth about $1 million, but once you get into further regions of the US, in the Midwest and deep South, the price per pound can fetch $500 and $600 per pound. These prices do not apply to higher grades of Marijuana grown in Northern California, such as Cush, which can sell for close to $4,000 per pound. This seizure was clearly no Cush.
Tags: $7.7 million, 10 tons, 340 bails, 340 bales, 8, 8500 pounds, Arizona, az, California, cartels, chronic, cush, gangs, marijuana, mexico, pot bust, san pedro, sea weed, seizure, United States Coast Guard, US Coast Guard, weed, weed bust