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The Central Valley HIDTA region has strategic drug trafficking and marketing significance for Mexican DTOs as a national-level production, transportation, and distribution center for illicit drugs. The dominance that Mexican DTOs exert over wholesale ice methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin distribution in the region is not expected to be challenged by other DTOs in the near term. Asian DTOs and criminal groups will expand their influence and operations in the region, particularly the smuggling and nationwide distribution of high-potency marijuana and MDMA.

The trafficking and abuse of ice methamphetamine will not diminish in the near term and will remain the most significant drug threat. Demand for the drug is high, and Mexican DTOs in the area have controlled production and distribution operations for many years. Point-of-sale restrictions placed on pseudoephedrine will continue to prompt local methamphetamine producers to expand their smurfing activities outside the HIDTA region to avoid law enforcement scrutiny and obtain sufficient supplies of the precursor.

The availability of high-potency marijuana in the region is increasing, and there are no indications that this will change in the near term. Mexican DTOs will increase their use of public lands in remote areas of the region for outdoor cultivation, using weapons to protect their grow sites. Indoor cannabis cultivators, including many illegal cultivators who claim protection under the state's medical marijuana law, will continue to expand their operations by increasing the number and size of indoor grow sites.

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