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New Mexico cannabis operator reports more seizures by Border Patrol



By MJBizDaily Staff - May 3, 2024 - Updated May 3, 2024

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized more than $90,000 worth of marijuana products from state-licensed cannabis operators in New Mexico during two separate stops this week.

Kai Kirk, managing partner of Las Cruces-based Head Space Distribution, reported the latest encounters between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and New Mexico marijuana companies to MJBizDaily.

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Those stops continue a trend that began in February and has resulted in regulated operators losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in product.

Andrea Brown, a spokesperson for the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division, told MJBizDaily that its office had been notified of the two seizures that happened Wednesday, confirming that the office now knows of eight such events.

Sheriffs witness product seizure

CBP agents took possession of regulated marijuana products valued at $61,070 from Head Space Alchemy during a traffic stop along Interstate 10 headed toward Deming, New Mexico, Kirk said.

He added that the vehicle allegedly “was pulled over for potentially trafficking people, then (CBP agents) saw we had cannabis and seized it.”

Head Space contacted the Doña Ana Sheriff’s Department, which dispatched two officers to the scene.

The company is working with the sheriff’s department to get access to body-camera footage taken during the search-and-seizure event.

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Kirk reported a second incident involving Desert Peaks Farms that took place at a CBP checkpoint along Interstate 25 north of Las Cruces.

“Roughly $30,000 in wholesale product was taken,” Kirk told MJBizDaily, adding that bulk flower was taken along with $6,000 in cash.

The cash was later returned.

“This is a huge amount of product being seized,” Kirk said, “and this has major financial ramifications on my business and every other business that has seizures.”

Cannabis regulator asks for clarity

Todd Stevens, director of the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division, asked that licensed operators promptly report stop-and-seizure events to the agency.

“The seizure of licensed cannabis shipments in New Mexico is creating confusion across our state’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry and harming legitimate businesses,” Stevens said.

“We hope that federal authorities can help us better understand why our state seems to be the only one targeted for seizures.”

Neighboring Arizona has an adult-use marijuana market as well as a CBP presence in the state, and California boasts the largest regulated marijuana market in the world with $4.3 billion in sales expected in 2024, according to the 2024 MJBiz Factbook.

CBP is authorized to patrol within 100 miles of those states’ borders with Mexico.

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