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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Marijuana Distribution System in Forbes

I read a slighty peculiar article in Forbes Magazine this weekend.  The article is titled "Inside Dope."

The article details the business process behind marijuana distribution in New York City.  Following the crackdowns under the Rudy Giuliani administration, a great deal of drug sales were moved off the streets and into a more refined process, out of sight and out of mind almost.

The process is extremely elaborate utilizing local growers, think of something along the lines of a cellular structure like Al Qaeda except for its growing or manufacturing pot.  Along with a secure call center wholesale distributors, an executive management team, packagers, courier managers, couriers and of course customers.

The distribution system is similar to a secure ordering process that you would find through an online merchant.

In other ways it's very similar to a double-blind research study, where each cell of the organization doesn't know the other cells, but overlaid just enough to function.

Regardless this illegal business is big business.  Forbes estimates that 25 million Americans smoked pot in the last 12 months.  The marijuana crop grown in the United States is also estimated at $36 billion, and the growth of the business increases by 9.6% each year and has over the last 25 years.  With that much money at stake it's no wonder that Rudy Giuliani's attempts to remove the unsightly aspects of the drug trade off of the streets, only resulted in the drug trade being moved into a more professional setting.