Cannabis, Coca, & Poppy:
Nature’s Addictive Plants

Production & Distribution


Marijuana and Hashish Trade

Marijuana is grown and trafficked all over the world, while cannabis seized in the United States is either grown domestically or smuggled from Mexico or Canada. Other countries known for producing and distributing marijuana to the U.S. are Colombia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Thailand, South Africa, and Nigeria.

Marijuana brick

Bricks of Marijuana

Forming marijuana into compact bricks is one of the more popular ways to transport bulk amounts of marijuana across borders and within the United States.

  • Outdoor cannabis cultivation areas
  • Marijuana growing in the woods

Marijuana Plants in U.S. National Forests

Most of outdoor cannabis cultivation in the U.S. occurs on public lands where cultivators take advantage of remote areas to minimize the risk of forfeiture. More than 3 million marijuana plants, which equates to 3,000 metric tons, have been found and destroyed in National Forests in the United States since 1997. These marijuana farms have been planted in protected areas, often destroying the surrounding areas by the use of herbicides and pesticides. DEA, NDIC

  • Home-grown marijuana
  • Home-grown marijuana

Home-grown Marijuana

Home-grown horticulturists have gained knowledge in breeding by cross-pollination and nurturing a vast variety of strains. Many breeders now concentrate on developing varieties in the plant by controlling the growth process. This is done by using heating lamps, fluorescent bulbs, ventilation and soil nutrients, hydroponics (growing without soil by using a liquid solution which contains nutrients and minerals) and salt-free sand.

Marijuana Growing and Cultivation in Soil

Successful outdoor grows will depend on Mother Nature. Having sufficient water and rich soil will increase the chances of having a good crop. However, like any other crop, the grower has limited impact due to climate. Indoor plant operations are the most successful because the grower can control the growing environment. For both types of grow, the basic requirements needed are light, heat, ventilation, food, and water.

  • Step One

    Once the seed is planted growers wait until germination has taken place. After evidence of a healthy root system begins to emerge from the base of the medium and the first leaves appear, the seedlings are ready to be transplanted or repotted.

  • Step Two

    Once the seedlings have begun to grow they will produce a male or female plant. Determining the sex of the cannabis plant usually occurs within two weeks with the male plant showing their sex first.

  • Step Three

    Once the male plant is identified they must be cut down and disposed of to avoid contaminating the female plants with pollen. Female plants produce one or two small white hairs, called pistils which develop into dense buds.

  • Step Four

    After four or five weeks the female plant will develop flowering buds.

  • Step Five

    Soon the plant is ready for harvest. Plants are cut and hung to dry for curing.

Growing marijuana without soild


Hydroponics simply means growing without soil, using a liquid solution which contains all the nutrients and mineral required to produce a healthy plant. Many experienced growers prefer hydroponics due to the faster growth rates and larger plant yields.

Marijuana destroys vegitation and wildlife

Marijuana Production Harmful to the Environment

The production of marijuana can also harm the environment by contaminating waterways, destroying vegetation and wildlife habitat through the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Indoor grows are also harmful because of the increased fire risk posed by rewiring or jury rigging electrical bypasses in grow houses.