Yesterday the Orlando Sentinel published a report that Cuban immigrants who have recently arrived in the United States represent a vast majority of people getting busted for operating marijuana grow houses across the state.
The article comes two years after my story on the same subject, proving that law enforcement is nowhere near erasing Florida's status as the nation's number one producer of high-grade chronic grown indoors. Government officials cite the lack of lengthy prison sentences for growers as a reason for the high number of grow houses. In most cases, people busted cultivating ganja get probation.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
But the problem won't be fixed with tougher penalties. There are a lot of empty houses in Florida. Marijuana grow rings have a lot of cash and are laundering their money through mortgage fraud. Losing one grow operation and a crop tender is just a cost of doing business for these cartels, which can easily make their money back from their other grow houses that don't get discovered.