Feds Seize Legal Cannabis In New Mexico, No Plan To Give Back

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Federal Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have made headlines in New Mexico after seizing over $300,000 worth of cannabis products from state-licensed operators in recent weeks, according to a report by KRQE. The seizures, which occurred at routine CBP checkpoints near the U.S.-Mexico border in the state’s southern region, have sparked concerns among cannabis businesses and regulators alike.

Nick Spoor, Operations Manager at Top Crop Cannabis Co., shared his experience with the CBP checkpoint encounters. Spoor noted that typically, CBP checkpoints involve simple citizenship verification without canine units. However, on February 14, while transporting 22 pounds of legal cannabis inventory from Top Crop’s Las Cruces cultivation facility to its Albuquerque store, Spoor was detained by border agents for over three hours. The agents ultimately confiscated the entire shipment, valued at approximately $139,000. Despite assurances of instructions for recovery, Spoor never received any correspondence.

The seizures have raised questions about the interaction between state-legal cannabis operations and federal law enforcement agencies. While New Mexico legalized adult-use cannabis in 2022, cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I substance at the federal level, creating a complex legal landscape for businesses operating within state regulations.

The reported seizures underscore the challenges faced by cannabis businesses operating near federal borders. Despite compliance with state laws, operators risk encountering federal enforcement actions, leading to significant financial losses and operational disruptions.

State cannabis regulators have voiced concerns over the impact of federal enforcement actions on the budding cannabis industry in New Mexico. With millions invested in legal cannabis operations and the promise of economic growth, stakeholders are urging for clarity and cooperation between state and federal authorities.

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, stakeholders are closely monitoring developments and advocating for regulatory reforms to address the growing conflict between state and federal cannabis laws.

Read the whole article from Ganjapreneur here.

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