MDMA is relatively easy to make, but the gross profit margin is only around 50-75% if you do it right. The problem is it takes time and there are a lot of chemicals, which can be difficult to get without jack-booted thugs kicking in your door and hauling you off to jail. This also assumes you know what you’re doing and not trying to poison yourself or others. Kitchen chemistry is not the safest of disciplines. Also while there may be heaps of material on making drugs, there is relatively little on properly cutting(diluting) them with acceptable inert substances for administration. Pill machine dies are also closely watched and often are an easy way to see the distribution patterns of dealers and chemists.
In New England they’re even starting to track marijuana by DNA. If they get the funding this year they’ll be able to do it for the entire US. This is a boon for large cultivators, but will impact the high quality specialty growers that use highly advanced techniques(SCROG, DWC, LST, inducing hermaphrodism), specially bred seeds that can cost as much as their weight in gold and equipment($300Can for coolers for nutrient solution, $70 SCROG grills, High quality silent powerful air pumps, and expensive HIDs). A high quality set up can generate up to 2kgs of high quality product a month for an initail investment of about $2000-5000Can and might only run with only 50 plants at a time.
It is generally cut with MDA. Supposedly both of these are related to mescaline. MDA qualifies as an amphetamine. MDMA doesn’t quite make the cut. Amphetamines can be a really pleasent trip at first. They are so great in the beginning, till you get a monkey on your back that grows into a gorilla. Meta-amphetamine will eventually drive you to a life of paranoid delusions and insanity. Pretty rough shit, especially when you see it happen to your own father.
She sounds like she was on Ecstasy without the speed. I’d imagine the pills in Taiwan would come from a Taiwanese generic pharmaceutical company, which could be a good thing if they didn’t skimp on quality control. They would have the reources and equipment to make it quite worthwhile for them.