Marijuana is a booming industry expected to generate Billions. Projections estimate that total marijuana sales will be in the region of $50 Billion when black market sales are taken into account. This is good news not only for State and Federal finances but also for small time communities who will benefit from the legalization of cannabis. It remains to be seen what exactly will happen to the marijuana black market. In the first year of the legalization of recreational marijuana next year in California, researchers estimate that up to 30% of total marijuana sales will still be generated from the black market. This is mainly because old industries die hard and it is what people are used to in the last century. As well as due to the fact that there is a glut of illegal marijuana that has to be offloaded, and black market dealers are not going to let it go to waste without making as much profit as possible in the meantime.
Marijuana and Ford Fusions
But the black market is still alive and well in areas where marijuana has not been fully legalized. In Ohio, authorities recently seized over $1 Million worth of marijuana in brand new Ford Fusions. The 15 cars were made in Mexico and were subsequently shipped to Ohio as well as Pennsylvania. An added bonus of marijuana legalization is that it will soon no longer be possible for this type of criminality to exist. If marijuana is legal there is no point smuggling it and no profit to be made. Nobody needs illegal marijuana when it can be obtained from a local shop for a good price and presumably better quality.
The Drug Enforcement Administration found the marijuana stored at a dealership in Ohio, the goods stored in the trunks of the brand-new Ford Fusions. The vehicles were shipped by rail from Ford plants in Mexico. The investigation is still underway in trying to find out where along the supply line the marijuana was added to the cars. Authorities suggest that something must have gone wrong along the way and that the marijuana was obviously supposed to be taken off at some stage. The car dealership discovered the marijuana between July 7 and July 11. Each of the packages weighed approximately 32 pounds and the marijuana was found in 4 counties in over 15 cars across 4 counties in Ohio as well as a two in Pennsylvania.
Earlier this year a similar type of marijuana seizure was undertaken in Minnesota. Bizarrely, it was again Ford Fusions where the goods were stored and several packages were stored in the trunks of a number of the cars. This stash of marijuana was estimated to be worth in the vicinity of $280,000. No arrests have been made as of yet and the authorities are still looking for a link. This is now the Fourth time that Ford has been linked with marijuana smuggling in the past 6 months, and it is turning into quite an issue for the company. In April, $1.4 million was discovered in the spare tire compartment of New Ford Fusions shipping out of Mexico, and there is also the case of the student who sued Ford after finding 112 pounds of marijuana in his car. Ford is becoming a laughing stock as they cannot find where along their supply chain marijuana is being inserted into the cars, though it is most likely somewhere closer to the original plants in Mexico than further along the line.
Ford issued a public statement to the extent that the packaging was not done at their shipping yards or at any of their plants. A Ford spokesperson said on the 29th July:
“We’re aware of the situation and are taking it very seriously… We are working with the FBI and Customs on an extensive investigation. We have confirmed that this is not happening at our plant or at our internal shipping yards.”
Who knows, perhaps there are some lucky owners of brand new Ford Fusions who happened to drive into a state where recreational marijuana was legal?
The Future of Crime
We could be seeing the end of such organized crime in terms of marijuana sales at the very least. After all, there will soon no longer be a profit in selling marijuana as it becomes legalized. The issue in the first place was that it was illegal, which created a huge syndicate of crime over a substance that should have been used to enhance well-being for US citizens. Marijuana in Ford Fusions is a phenomenon we will not be seeing much more of in future times. What we are seeing is an organized crime division deciding to offload and sell its supply of marijuana using its existing supply chain while it is still profitable to do so. This is causing a significant PR problem for Ford.
For now, criminals may need to offload the product for a profit while it is still illegal and will explore other avenues to sustain themselves. Alternatively, they may well start to grow the crop themselves and make honest businesses. The marijuana crime business is no longer being propped up with legislature built on the idea that marijuana is a harmful substance where substantial research indicates the opposite.