New Mexico cannabis store broken into ahead of state’s adult-use sales launch

An Albuquerque, New Mexico, cannabis retail store was the victim of a break-in as it prepared for a grand opening and only a week before the state began recreational marijuana sales.

Medical marijuana dispensary Xtracts – which is also licensed to also sell adult-use products – experienced significant damage when thieves broke through the walls of an adjacent business March 25, Albuquerque TV station KOB reported.

Despite the damage, Xtracts was expected to be open Friday for the first day of adult-use sales in New Mexico, according to the TV station.

David White, founder of MMJ company Organtica and owner of Xtracts, told KOB that the store doesn’t leave any product out at night, so the would-be thieves left empty-handed.

Still, the incident is a reminder to marijuana business in New Mexico and around the U.S. about the importance of having ample security measures in place.

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Marijuana businesses continue to battle thieves who see the cash-only industry as a ripe target for robberies, leading to a growing call to change federal law barring the companies from banking services.

White advised New Mexico’s marijuana store owners to hire a monitoring service and determine where in the store criminals could break in, including through skylights or digging a tunnel underneath the store.