The state board charged with overseeing Nevada’s booming marijuana industry on Tuesday suspended the license of a cannabis farm near Las Vegas after inspectors said they found unregistered plants at the facility that posed an “imminent health hazard”. and public safety.”
Helping Hands Wellness Center is accused of using the facility’s closet and attic to hide unlabeled and unverified cannabis plants from auditors. State officials have warned that plants not registered with Nevada’s seed-to-sale regulatory system could find their way into the illegal market.
The board said it conducted a month-long investigation into Helping Hands before voting unanimously on Tuesday afternoon to force the North Las Vegas manufacturing and cultivation complex to close its doors and change the locks until business owners decide state problems.
A Helping Hands lawyer did not respond to emails seeking comment.
According to a report summarizing the board’s findings obtained by the Associated Press, the state’s investigation included on-the-spot checks and review of surveillance footage that revealed the company’s efforts to keep its stocks of unlabelled cannabis plants and products secret from auditors.
On December 7, during one of the board’s visits, Helping Hands employees were caught on camera discussing a “plan to hide harvested cannabis” in the attic before allowing inspectors into the facility.
The footage then showed employees and the manager “hiding the cannabis” in a closet while the auditors were “conducting an audit elsewhere on the facility.” According to the report, another employee was caught on camera talking on the phone about moving unlabeled cannabis clones — trimmings from a larger plant — from the production floor as the auditors left.
In addition to hiding unregistered cannabis plants and products, inspectors noted additional security problems in their report, including faulty key cards and unlocked doors “which can be opened by anyone who attempts to enter.”
Helping Hands must fix problems at its facility with state approval before the board can reinstate its license. Until then, per the board’s emergency order, “no one may enter” the facility except for one designated employee who will be responsible for watering the cannabis plants.
The suspension was the first issued by a compliance board in 2023 as the state prepares to open its first marijuana lounges this year.
As of this month, more than 700 medical and recreational licenses were in force in Nevada, according to data held by the board of directors.