Irving Lin, a jovial entrepreneur in his late 60’s, wanted to share a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a near-miraculous way out of the economic devastation wrought on Southern California’s Chinese communities by the pandemic: the gift of marijuana.
“We are making a fortune in Oklahoma, and you can too,” Lin, speaking in Mandarin, told a crowd of 30 potential investors gathered for a PowerPoint presentation at a Chinese cultural center on Dec. 5. The return on investment is as high as 1,200 percent, Lin explained eagerly. Finance one greenhouse, and you’ll walk away with $300,000. Three greenhouses will make you a millionaire.
“The demand is huge and growing, and so are the profits,” he assured his audience, almost all of them Chinese immigrants. “All you have to do is hand over the money, and our team will take care of the rest.”