The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department announced it has revoked the license of Golden Roots (DBA The Cannabis Revolution Dispensary), a vertically integrated cannabis business in Albuquerque, for moving illegally obtained cannabis through BioTrack, improperly transporting cannabis, and nine other violations.
The business has been ordered to stop all commercial cannabis activity immediately after a final decision and order were sent. Golden Roots must also pay $298,972.05 in fines for money earned while possessing and distributing illegal products and recall all of its cannabis products. The fines will be remitted to the State Treasurer and deposited in the Current School Fund.
“Not only do illegal products pose a significant threat to public health and safety, but they threaten the livelihoods of the businesses operating legally,” said New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Superintendent Linda Trujillo. “By revoking this license and levying a fine based on the profits earned by transferring illegal products, the department is proving that it is committed to ensuring that all cannabis businesses in New Mexico are following the law.”
The licensee requested to enter fully mature, harvested, and dried cannabis plants into the division’s online cannabis inventory tracking system, BioTrack, despite having only been licensed for two months. This immediately appeared suspicious to CCD staff as cannabis plants take several months to reach maturity and even more time to be dried after harvest.
Following up on this suspicious request, compliance officers performed an inspection at the business’s grow facility. Upon arriving, the compliance officers found no evidence of a functional cannabis production site and no evidence that any cannabis plants had been grown at this location. However, a report from BioTrack shows that commercial cannabis activity (e.g., transporting and selling cannabis products) began as early as April 12, 2022, just a month after receiving a license from the CCD.
By moving fully mature and harvested cannabis products off-site within a month of receiving its license, Golden Roots knowingly moved illegally obtained plants through BioTrack, which is a violation of the Cannabis Regulation Act.
“The violations performed by this licensee show a blatant disregard for the Cannabis Regulation Act and the laws all licensees in New Mexico must follow,” said Cannabis Control Division Director Todd Stevens. “Our compliance officers will continue performing daily inspections, following up on complaints, and working to remove all bad actors from the New Mexico cannabis industry.”
Despite requesting an evidentiary hearing, representatives of Golden Roots did not attend the September 1, 2023 hearing in Albuquerque.
Golden Roots is the third cannabis business to have its license revoked by the CCD and the first to face substantial fines for its illegal activity. The fine levied in this case is the total revenue reported by the licensee into BioTrack from the date of the CCD-issued license to the date of the division’s inspection that gave rise to this action.