NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico’s attorney general says the recreational marijuana industry could be a new frontier when it comes to crime. He says a local credit union is taking the first steps to prevent this. U.S Eagle recently completed a certification program focusing on cannabis and hemp banking protocols.

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The program is designed to help financial institutions put in place safeguards to cut down on illegal activity. Attorney General Hector Balderas says because recreational marijuana is a new industry, criminals could take advantage adding that banks have the first opportunity to catch anything illegal.

“Some of my biggest cases in terms of money laundering, trafficking have come from front line professionals, identifying suspicious activity or questionable cash transactions. So there are a lot of illicit criminals who would love to wash cash and use the marijuana industry to criminalize their behavior,” Balderas said.

The first recreational marijuana sales begins in April.