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Hawaii has strategic drug trafficking and marketing significance for Mexican DTOs because it provides these organizations with a gateway to other markets in the Pacific. NDIC analysts expect Mexican DTOs' dominance over wholesale ice methamphetamine, cocaine, and black tar heroin distribution in the region to remain unchallenged. The trafficking and abuse of ice methamphetamine will remain the most significant drug threat to the HIDTA region. Asian DTOs and criminal groups will expand their influence and operations in the region, particularly the smuggling and distribution of high-potency marijuana and MDMA. The Hawaii HIDTA region will remain one of the most significant cannabis cultivation and marijuana production areas in the nation. The demand for high-potency marijuana in the region is increasing, and there are no indications that this will change in the near term. Increased cultivation will be supported by a greater number of criminal groups and independent growers from the West Coast relocating to Hawaii to establish illicit cannabis cultivation operations at both outdoor and indoor grows, particularly on the Big Island. Public lands in remote areas of the region will increasingly be used by local criminal groups and independent dealers for outdoor cultivation. Illegal cannabis cultivators will increasingly exploit state medical marijuana laws to conduct and expand their illicit cultivation and distribution operations.

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