State officials have made a pretty penny by selling some confiscated wild ginseng.
The Department of Natural Resources held an auction for about 319 pounds of the herb this week, selling it off in seven lots for a total of $269,750 dollars, or roughly $850 dollars a pound. That’s higher than the usual price of cultivated ginseng. Farm-grown ginseng from Marathon County usually runs around $70 to $80 a pound. The wild version of the root can command a premium though because it’s more mature.
The ginseng was confiscated from a dealer last year as it was being prepared to be shipped overseas. The dealer was operating without the required license, and eventually paid a $10,000 fine and turned over the crop to the state.
The DNR heavily regulates the sale of wild ginseng, because of how vulnerable and valuable it is.