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DEA Wants Arizona Company To Burn Marijuana

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is counting on an Arizona company to burn a thousand pounds of pot an hour.

The agency’s Houston Division said Tucson Iron & Metal is the only capable vendor in close proximity to where confiscated cannabis is stored. The contracting notice says an incinerator must be able to process at least 1,000 pounds of marijuana per hour — most shaped like bricks or bales weighing between 40 and 60 pounds and packaged in cardboard, plastic wrap, aluminum foil and other materials.

The incinerator must be capable of “destroying marijuana to the point where there are no detectable levels, as measured by standard analytical methods, of byproduct from the destruction process. DEA shall inspect the incinerator to ensure no drug residue remains.”

The contract requires closed circuit cameras and a fence tall enough to prevent public viewing with armed DEA agents and contractors present during scheduled burns. The Tucson workers are prohibited from discussing any information — even after the six-month contract expires Sept. 30, 2019.

The drugs are expected to come from DEA facilities in: Houston, Galveston, Beaumont, McAllen, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Laredo, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, San Antonio, Austin and Waco.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.