Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa state and the homeland of the same-named cartel, is so permeated with marijuana businesses that a tourist may be fooled into thinking it’s legal. Even though possessing even an ounce of marijuana can still get you locked up in Mexico, Culiacán now boasts almost as many marijuana dispensaries as Los Angeles.
Ten years ago, the pot was still sold in dark alleys or transported by dodgy dealers in ancient automobiles. Members of the Sinaloa Cartel have been trying to find a way to adapt and reclaim the industry that their predecessors used to develop global operations ever since US states began legalizing Marijuana, causing a fall in Mexican bud being carried north.
Agents of the Sinaloa Cartel who spoke with Insider said that advertising is the key to the success of their new venture. “We don’t want people to think of us as the kind of people that sell pot out of a car window or on the side of the road. Just take a look at the gorgeous stores the gringos have set up to offer the same exact thing.
The member of the Sinaloa Cartel who is widely regarded as a “godfather” said, “That’s what we want for the organization.” “as well as who is responsible for providing capital for the emerging cannabis sector, revealed to Insider. According to the “godfather,” Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, one of Guzmán’s sons from his first marriage, reorganized the organization (a term that members prefer over “cartel”) and initiated a trial-and-error phase in the marijuana industry in Culiacán.
Ivan and his brothers, collectively referred to as “Los Chapitos,” are part of a broader group of young cartel scions known as “narco juniors” who have made Culiacán their stronghold and the center of their expansion into the marijuana market. The juniors invested heavily, but the godfather noted that they were wary of who they could trust.
In the wake of El Chapo’s 2017 extradition to the United States, Iván Archivaldo assembled a group of five or six men with “all of his trust” to act as “godfathers” for a new Marijuana business model. One of the “godfathers” has indicated that their job is to funnel money to a bigger group of independent marijuana producers so that they can test different strains, seeds, processes, and branding “until the organization finds a brand to compete or even overwhelm the pot produced in the US.”
According to the “godfather,” the Sinaloa Cartel has begun actively recruiting young producers who do not identify as members of the organization but who share three main characteristics: “their passion for weed,” “their knowledge of the weed production process,” and “that have lived in a US state where weed is legal.” “My godfather was extremely direct in his inquiry of my competence in the matter at hand.
I let it slip that I’d already gotten a little greenhouse going for my own use, but that I could grow the finest pot in all of Sinaloa if he’d only put his faith in me and give me some money to upgrade “local producer and former California resident tells all to Insider. The grower, a 31-year-old Culiacán native, welcomed Insider into one of his greenhouses, a high-tech indoor operation housing more than 200 miniature marijuana plants.
The plants have constant access to heat, light, music, and surveillance cameras. “As simple as it seems, our goal is to cultivate the finest cannabis on the planet. In order to create new strains indigenous to Sinaloa, we import seeds from the United States, Europe, and Canada and then experiment with them “It was his words. To generate pre-rolled joints, wax, edibles, and a dozen other goods, the weed grown in the greenhouse is transported to a different facility overseen by other personnel.
The five men who run the factory are housed in a spacious house in a middle-class section of Culiacán. Bags of weed from the greenhouses are stored in one area, pre-rolls are filled in another, the weed is heated and pressed to make wax in yet another, and finally, everything is packaged and labeled in a final area. “The most popular products are the hand-rolled pre-rolled cigarettes.
We have three roll joint workers and produce between 1,200 and 1,500 joints per week “a manager of the production line remarked. In a single year, just one maker brings in roughly $400,000 by selling more than 1,200 pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes at a price of 140 Mexican pesos (about $7). The “godfather” claims there are at least 20 separate factories within the organization, each producing a different brand.
The most popular strain produced in Culiacán is called “Star Kush,” and we spoke with the growers there for our story. The pizza in the logo is an allusion to “La Chapisa,” the Sinaloa Cartel’s insider name for the group that serves “El Chapo” and his family. As the largest exporter of tomatoes in Mexico, Culiacán is represented by the astronaut perched atop a massive tomato.
Roughly twenty dispensaries across the city sell the goods; all of them are owned by the same “godfathers” who provide the money for the enterprise. From what we can gather from the people we talked to at Inside, Iván Archivaldo Guzmán takes home more than 30 percent of the profits. “The only permission we have is to make things.
With this company’s backing, we can focus on creating an excellent service or product. However, there is only one buyer we can serve: the company itself. Not millions, but enough to live well; and the chance to cultivate high-quality cannabis, which is worth far more than the salary we receive “someone from production said.
Although federal legislation in Mexico has not yet authorized the cultivation or sale of marijuana, El Chapo’s sons are eager to capitalize on what could be a profitable new industry. The goal of “Los Chapitos” is to create a cannabis empire in Culiacán comparable to their father’s Los Angeles operation, and they aren’t waiting for the law to change before doing so.