NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The recreational marijuana business has exploded in New Mexico since it became legal. What happens to businesses that do not follow state rules? “The whole idea is we’re going from an unregulated new industry to a regulated industry,” said New Mexico Cannabis Control Division Director Andrew Vallejos.
Inspectors go out with a checklist and look for any issues. That list includes control of waste, fire safety, and making sure businesses have security measures. It all depends on if the business is a retailer or grower. “For retailers, they don’t typically have as extensive of a checklist because they’re not growing,” said Vallejos.
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Since April, cannabis control has done about 100 inspections. They say 31 businesses are not in compliance. “Some of the pieces might be a little honest, especially when it comes to waste. With the growth and the production, we have to keep track of all the leaves that we pull off that don’t actually have any THC,” said Daniel Novak, owner of The Bad Company Dispensary.
One of the grounds for suspension; is if businesses don’t enter their product in the state’s seed to sale software. Plants are tracked whether they come from New Mexico or out of the state. However, even if businesses slip up on rules, the goal is to get them back on track.
Vallejos mentioned, “It’s a new industry and we’re working with the licensees to get them in compliance.”
The state has not cited any recreational marijuana licenses since it became legal. They are also looking to hire two more compliance officers. The cannabis control division currently has eight compliance officers to inspect 478 businesses that have a recreational marijuana license. There is no state requirement on how many times a year they must inspect these businesses.