A Las Cruces, New Mexico business has reopened after receiving a cease-and-desist order from the state Cannabis Control Division (CCD) for “gifting” cannabis to customers, the Las Cruces Sun reports. Matt Madrid, the attorney for Speak Easy NM, which describes itself as an “organics company and gift shop,” said that his clients would end the practice following the state order.
“The practice commonly referred to as ‘gifting’ will not occur on our premises, however we are still able to assist the community with CBD products and merchandise.”— Madrid in a statement via the Sun
The state did not levy any penalties against Speak Easy.
The cease-and-desist order came following a July 20 investigation by the CCD, which determined the business was giving small amounts of cannabis to customers when making purchases. The business owners, Jason Estrada and Joseph Garza, defended the practice as legal under the state’s legalization law, portions of which took effect June 29. Under the law, adults 21-and-older can legally give cannabis to one another but where there is money involved in the transaction, it is deemed a sale and not a gift and, therefore, illegal, the report says.
State Regulation and Licensing Department Deputy Superintendent John Blair said that the state’s cannabis regulators “will not tolerate any individuals or businesses who violate the Cannabis Regulation Act or otherwise diminish the integrity of the adult-use cannabis industry in New Mexico.”
“All New Mexicans should be on notice that violations of the Cannabis Regulation Act will be met with swift, strong action from the state,” he said in a statement.
In a statement, Speak Easy said it was not their intent to circumvent the law, and apologized to their customers and the community “for any confusion” the situation caused.
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