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New Mexico's Cannabis Control Division has taken enforcement action against a Native-owned cannabis cultivation facility, revoking its licenses and imposing a $1 million fine. 

Native American Agricultural Development Co., an operation linked to a Navajo businessman with a history of federal raids, faced allegations of numerous violations, including exceeding state plant count limits, inadequate inventory tracking, and unsafe conditions.

The facility, located in rural Torrance County, was found to have approximately 20,000 mature plants on-site — four times the state's permissible limit. An additional 20,000 immature plants were also noted. Violations encompassed security lapses, lack of chain of custody procedures, and substandard facility maintenance.

The enforcement follows federal raids and legal actions against Navajo businessman Dineh Benally and his associates in 2020, including a lawsuit by Chinese immigrant workers who claimed they were forced to work illegally on the Navajo Nation.

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In a final order, the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department revoked the cultivation firm’s license and imposed a $1 million fine. Native American Agricultural Development was also instructed to immediately dispose of all cannabis and cannabis products on-site; cease all commercial cannabis activities except for waste disposal; surrender licenses by certified mail; and consider the order as a final decision for potential judicial review. Failure to comply may lead to further disciplinary actions, including the initiation of new proceedings and the pursuit of legal remedies.

In a parallel move, Bliss Farm, another cannabis cultivation facility in rural Torrance County, had its licenses revoked and was fined $1 million. State regulators cited multiple violations, including surpassing legal plant count limits, non-compliance with the mandatory track-and-trace system, and maintaining unsafe conditions. Evidence of a recent harvest without proper records raised concerns about potential illicit transfers or sales.

“The illicit activity conducted at both of these farms undermines the good work that many cannabis businesses are doing across the state,” Clay Bailey, acting superintendent of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department said in a statement. “The excessive amount of illegal cannabis plants and other serious violations demonstrates a blatant disregard for public health and safety, and for the law.”

The Cannabis Control Division aims to ensure compliance within the cannabis industry, with a total of six permit revocations and $2.3 million in fines issued thus far, according to the statement. 

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