Operation Green Merchant was a nationwide investigation and operation targeting businesses advertising specialized horticultural equipment that was supposedly used to grow cannabis in the 1990s.
The DEA had decided to investigate the advertising inside the High Times and Sinsemilla Tips with the goal of shutting down the blooming indoor marijuana industry using United Parcel Service records to trace deliveries of indoor growing equipment and seeds.
- Johnston, David (October 27, 1989). "119 Seized in Drive to Halt Indoor Marijuana Growing". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 2, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
- Boyd, Ray (October 14, 2005). "Operation Green Merchant". Cannabis Culture. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013.
- Roth, Jason (June 12, 1994). "High Times Is Feeling Mellow at 20". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on March 7, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
- Isikoff, Michael (July 17, 1990). "Justice Dept. Probing Drug Counterculture Magazine". San Francisco Chronicle. p. A9.
DEA officials later confirmed that the list of specialty stores raided was culled from advertisers in High Times as well as in Sinsemilla Tips, a competing Oregon-based journal published by marijuana activist Tom Alexander. Alexander's indoor-gardening store, located in the same building as his magazine, was among those shut down by the raids.