NY Cops Raid Unlicensed Weed Shops, Steep Penalties For Illicit Cannabis Sales
As of Thursday, an interagency task force includingagents from New York's Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Department of Taxation and Finance began seizing unlicensed cannabis products and shutting down unlicensed storefronts in New York City.
The latest announcement from Governor Kathy Hochul comes on the heels of OCM's approving a measure that would allow state authorities to close down illegal pot shops and levy steep fines.
Hochul signed the measure into law as part of the FY 2024 Budget. It allows the regulator to issue civil penalties against unlicensed cannabis businesses with fines as high as $20,000 per daywhile deeming unlicensed cannabis sales a crime.
The attempt is part of the push to get the state's potentially billion-dollar adult legal market up and running.
"New York is proud to have undertaken the most equitable legal cannabis roll-out in the nation and the State will not stand idle as unlicensed operators break the law and sell untested products to underage New Yorkers," Hochul said Thursday. "These enforcement actions are critical steps to protect and help those individuals who were promised a shot to start a legal business and be successful. Additionally, these unlicensed operators undermine the State's efforts to generate substantial funds for a social equity fund that will go into the communities that have been hardest hit by over-prosecution of the cannabis laws in the past."