How Illicit Cannabis Enters the U.S. Through Buffalo Niagara
With cannabis legalization now underway, it will be interesting to see if the adult-use program will successfully displace the illicit market for cannabis. One interesting way to assess this is by tracking cannabis seizures at ports of entry in WNY. Lucky for us, our friends from Customs & Border Protection track this information for us and are quick to report on significant drug seizures made at various ports of entry across WNY.
According to the U.S. Customs & Border Protection website, officers have already seized 3,888 lbs of cannabis this year. That’s more than the weight of the average mid-size sedan! The estimated street value of cannabis seized at ports of entry in Buffalo so far in 2021 totals ~ $7.7 million. Customs agents have been busy, making over 1,600 drug seizures since travel restrictions were put in place due to the Coronavirus last year. Here is a list of some of the noteworthy cannabis seizures made in Buffalo so far this year.
Date & Location: January 20th, 2021, Lewiston-Queenston Bridge
Quantity: 936 lbs (estimated street value $1.9 million)
Details: Commercial shipment disguised as “phone accessories”
Date & Location: February 2nd, 2021, Lewiston-Queenston Bridge
Quantity: 1,070 lbs (esv $2.1 million)
Details: Commercial shipment disguised as “cardboard”
Date & Location: March 12th, 2021, Peace Bridge
Quantity: 655 lbs (esv $1.3 million)
Details: Commercial shipment disguised as “empty plastic bottles”
Date & Location: March 29th, 2021, Peace Bridge
Quantity: 1,227 lbs (esv $2.4 million)
Details: Commercial shipment disguised as “paper towels & dishwasher detergent”
Just How Much is 3,888 lbs of cannabis?
Enough to roll 1.8 million 1 gram joints. At a length of 1&1/4″ would be a total length of 2.25 million inches or 35.5 miles when lined up end to end….enough to stretch from Niagara Falls to Hamburg.
A big thank you goes out to the U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers working hard to keep our borders safe.