Top photo by Derek Berg
On the past two Wednesdays, a contingent of law enforcement officers has busted several unlicensed cannabis shops in the East Village.
You may have noticed the "Illegal Cannabis Seized" posters affixed to the storefronts...
As Gothamist reported on June 13: "More than half of the City Council's members are sponsoring a bill that will lead to serious penalties for people who knowingly lease space to unlicensed sellers of marijuana, tobacco and other controlled substances."
And fines for selling marijuana without a license could eventually hike up to $20,000 daily.
From a June 8 press release from NY State:
"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," Gov. Hochul said. "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."
This afternoon, Gov. Hochul announced that inspectors from the Cannabis Management and Department of Taxation and Finance issued violations to 21 stores in Manhattan and seized nearly $11 million worth of "illicit products" this month.
Hochul said that "some of the unregulated product was found to be marketed to kids and contain toxic chemicals, E. coli, and other contaminants," the Post reported.
"I want to be aggressive; I want to get this done," she said. "I want to send a message loud and clear across this state that if you're operating illegally, you will be caught, and you will be stopped. We're going to work together and enforce the law quickly and aggressively and shut these bad actors down."
Previously on EV Grieve: