For the first time since New Mexico legalized adult-use cannabis sales, a retailer’s license has been revoked over allegations that it was selling out-of-state cannabis.
According to a news release from the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (RLD), state regulators have revoked the license of Albuquerque cannabis dispensary Paradise Exotics Distro.
The department says that state regulators found numerous violations during an inspection, including displaying products that were not properly documented on the required shipping manifests, inaccurately reporting sales data—including more than $56,000 in cash and $8,338 in additional funds that were reported in the licensees third-party point-of-sale system but not in the state’s track and trace system—and possessing, receiving, and selling cannabis products that were marked with California stampings, indicating that they were not produced in New Mexico.
“This revocation should serve as a warning to those selling or receiving out-of-state cannabis products. Our compliance officers are ramping up inspections and we will work to remove bad actors from within the New Mexico cannabis industry,” said RLD Superintendent Linda Trujillo.
Progress on SAFE Banking Halted
Lawmakers are at a standstill with the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act over a single provision that would make it harder for banking regulators to force banks to close accounts without proof of criminal activity.
Washington insiders say two key senators are holding up SAFE Banking’s progress over a disagreement about section 10 of the bill. The section would prohibit federal regulators from forcing a bank to close accounts without proof that a crime has been committed by the account holder or that they are engaging in unsafe business practices. Cannabis businesses are specifically mentioned in the section.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and lead GOP SAFE Banking sponsor Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) are reportedly at odds over the section.
In an interview with Politico, Brown said the committee is waiting for Daines to garner enough Republican support to see the bill passed. But in an interview with Punchbowl News, Daines said that while Republicans are ready to move forward with SAFE Banking, changes to the bill made by Democrats are holding up negotiations.
According to Marijuana Moment, a senior GOP Senate aide said Democrats like Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) are concerned that Section 10 could limit the power of federal regulators and open the door for criminal money laundering.
Republicans reportedly support the section and are unwilling to remove it from the bill.
Colorado Faces Cannabis Dip
Colorado cannabis sales are in a slump, and experts forecast a significantly lower total this year compared to 2022.
According to Westword, Colorado dispensaries are on pace to make about $1.56 billion this year in cannabis sales. If that number holds up, it will represent a 12 percent loss compared to the $1.77 billion in sales made in 2022, and over 32 percent less than the record $2.23 billion in sales made in 2021.
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