New York is ramping up its battle against unlicensed marijuana stores which continue to operate amid the state’s growing legal cannabis market. The state began conducting inspections this month, issuing violation notices, and confiscating illicit weed in efforts to crackdown on these unauthorized operations.
However, many have pointed out that a significant number of shops that were raided have resumed operation.
Cayuga and Wayne counties also saw enforcement action this week, with authorities raiding two locations owned by David Tulley, who owns five sites. Bags full of products were removed, and as of Wednesday, one Auburn store remained closed.
While immediate closure of illegal stores isn’t feasible, the inspections represent the first step towards hefty fines, closure, and potential criminal prosecution.
New York’s legalization of recreational marijuana in March 2021 has been met with enforcement challenges.
Unlicensed sellers took advantage of the state’s slow rollout of licensed dispensaries, leading to an oversupply of illegal shops in New York City. The state’s effort to shut down these establishments began last year with warning letters.
The new inspection initiative represents an escalation of this process. Meanwhile, license holders, like Arana Hankin-Biggers, president of a licensed Manhattan dispensary, hope these steps will educate the public on the importance of purchasing from authorized sources
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