State Cannabis Control Division Smacks Down Illegal Sales

NMRLD News:

SANTA FE — The Cannabis Control Division of the Regulation and Licensing Department for the State of New Mexico moved to shutdown illegal cannabis sales Tuesday with a cease-and-desist order against Speak Easy, a Las Cruces business that has been selling cannabis in violation of the Cannabis Regulation Act.

“At the Cannabis Control Division, we take the medical and adult-use cannabis industries very seriously,” RLD Deputy Superintendent John Blair said. “Cannabis production and sales are professional enterprises that must meet the highest standards to ensure customer safety and the integrity of the medical and adult-use industries.”

Speak Easy’s practice of “gifting” cannabis to customers who purchase certain items at their shop is illegal. Gifting cannabis from one New Mexican who can legally possess cannabis to another person who can legally possess cannabis is legal under the Cannabis Regulation Act. However, the Speak Easy is not giving a gift, Blair said. The exchange of money in the transaction makes it a sale, not a gift, and is therefore illegal.

“The Cannabis Control Division will not tolerate any individuals or businesses who violate the Cannabis Regulation Act or otherwise diminish the integrity of the adult-use cannabis industry in New Mexico,” Blair said. “All New Mexicans should be on notice that violations of the Cannabis Regulation Act will be met with swift, strong action from the state.”

The Cannabis Regulation Act passed by the New Mexico Legislature and signed by the governor earlier this year legalizes the sale of adult-use cannabis in New Mexico and established the Cannabis Control Division to oversee and regulate the industry. According to the law, the CCD must begin issuing producer licenses by Sept. 1, 2021. Sales of adult-use cannabis will begin in New Mexico no later than April 1, 2022. As of June 29, 2021, possession of limited amounts of cannabis as well as growing a limited number of plants at home became legal. However, cannabis sales are still limited to authorized medical patients.

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