Southern New Mexico Cannabis farmers face federal seizures, risking northern sales

Southern New Mexico Cannabis farmers face federal seizures, risking northern sales

Cannabis Farmers in New Mexico Face Challenges in Transporting Product.

Some cannabis farmers in New Mexico told KFOX14 they encountered new challenges when it comes to transporting their product to northern parts of the state.

This comes as U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to seize cannabis at checkpoints, under federal law.

The seizures take place at CBP checkpoints in Southern New Mexico.

Smokey Road Farms and Desert Peaks Farms are among the growers whose products were seized.

"We lost about $20,000 worth of product," said Ryan Strand, owner of Smokey Roads Farms.

The owner of Desert Peak Farms, Isabella Rich, said she has also had product seized from her distributors at checkpoints.

Rich and Strand own cannabis farms in the Las Cruces area and sell their crop to other parts of the state such as Albuquerque, Farmington and Ruidoso, which are all north of federally mandated CBP checkpoints.

Strand said the possibility of seizures forces farmers to look for other avenues of distribution, while still following state laws.

Rich told KFOX14 that the seizures are forcing her to restrict sales of cannabis to the southern part of the state.

The measure comes after her spring harvest was seized, financially impacting her business.

"It was a big seizure and, you know, that was the majority of our payroll for the week," said Rich.

Desert Peaks Farms has been operating in the Las Cruces area since cannabis was legalized.

Rich said she had not heard about the product being seized until recently adding, "What has changed, like, why are they enforcing it now?"

CBP released the following statement:

Although medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in some U.S. States and Canada, the sale, possession, production, and distribution of marijuana or the facilitation of the aforementioned remain illegal under U.S. federal law,” “arriving at a U.S. port of entry, or at a Border Patrol checkpoint may be deemed inadmissible and/or subject to, seizure, fines, and/or arrest.

The owner of High Maintenance Farms in northern New Mexico, Matt Kennicott, said cannabis farmers started a coalition and are in communication with the government to protect themselves from future product seizures.

About $370,000 in products have been seized by CBP at checkpoints, according to Kennicott.

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Region: New Mexico

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