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New Mexico marijuana sales hit $1 billion as state tightens criminal laws

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(The Center Square) – The marijuana industry has made over $1 billion in sales in New Mexico since being legalized, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office announced.

That figure is the total amount that has been sold legally in the state since April 2022. Of that, over $678 million comes from recreational cannabis, while $331 million comes from medical cannabis. Plus, the industry has created $75 million in excise tax revenue for the state and communities according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The news comes as the governor signed a bill amending the Cannabis Regulation Act earlier this week, strengthening penalties against the unlicensed cannabis industry.

“The state is committed to supporting this new, flourishing industry so consumers are assured their cannabis products are safe and legitimate businesses thrive,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “We will continue to hold bad actors accountable and, when necessary, bar them from the New Mexico cannabis industry completely.”

Here is what the bill does, according to the release:

Providing authority for the Cannabis Control Division of the NMRLD to obtain federal criminal history background check information on applicantsIncreasing criminal penalties for unlicensed cannabis activityClarifying the amount of cannabis products that would result in a trafficking charge and increasing criminal penalties associated with traffickingExpanding the list of crimes that would prevent someone from getting a cannabis licenseAllowing individuals to possess both a license issued under the Liquor Control Act and a license issued under the Cannabis Regulation Act while prohibiting the co-location of the two license typesChanging cannabis packaging requirements to further protect youth from accessing cannabis products

The new law comes weeks after two cannabis companies in the state paid $1 million each in fines after paperwork errors caused the state to lose track of the farms’ produce. Bliss Farm had 17 violations, and Native American Agricultural Development Company had eight violations, as The Center Square previously reported.

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