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Ernst Works to Shut Down CCP-Linked Marijuana Farms

Poses National Security Risk, Exacerbates Human Trafficking

WASHINGTON – Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Senator Angus King (I-Maine), Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Congressman Jared Golden (D-Maine), and Congressman David Valadao (R-Calif.) led 48 of their colleagues in calling on Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney General Merrick Garland to prevent any national security risk and end any illicit human trafficking connected to Chinese-linked marijuana farms on U.S. land.

In the bipartisan, bicameral letter, the lawmakers pointed out that Chinese nationals, some with potential ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), are operating marijuana farms across the country and engaging in human and drug trafficking in conjunction with these operations.

“We are deeply concerned with reports from across the country regarding Chinese nationals and organized crime cultivating marijuana on United States farmland. In some cases, the grow operators were also engaged in human trafficking, forced labor, drug trafficking, and violent crime. These farms are most commonly in states with legal marijuana programs where illicit growers try to disguise their operations in communities where law-abiding Americans live and work. The thousands of illicit Chinese marijuana growing operations pose a direct threat to public safety, human rights, national security, and the addiction crisis gripping our nation. We write to you today to inquire about efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to address this developing criminal enterprise. Chinese nationals—including those with potential ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)— are reportedly operating thousands of illicit marijuana farms across the country,” the lawmakers wrote.

They demanded answers to whether the DOJ is investigating the CCP’s involvement in illicit marijuana farms in the United States, whether any individuals prosecuted have direct ties to the CCP, and if the federal government would need additional authorities to identify and shut down illegal operations.

Read the full letter here.