The New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) reported that marijuana regulators in the city have put more than 50 unlicensed marijuana retailers on notice, accused of illegally selling cannabis.
Additionally, OCM said that unlicensed marijuana businesses are claiming to be legal cannabis shops, which could endanger public health by failing to meet product testing requirements. In this context, the state of New York is preparing to start adult-use retail sales.
“These storefronts aren’t creating opportunity, they are creating confusion,” said Chris Alexander, OCM executive director. “New Yorkers think they’re buying a high-quality, tested product when they aren’t (...) Not only are these stores operating in violation of New York’s Cannabis Law, but they also are breaking state tax and several municipal laws. I look forward to working with other regulatory bodies across the state to hold these stores accountable for their flagrant violations of the law.”
The letters state that those businesses that receive the warning and continue to sell marijuana without a permit could be permanently deprived of obtaining a license when New York regulators begin issuing them.
“Selling any item or making a donation, and then 'giving away' a customer with an untested bag of cannabis, counts as a sale under New York Cannabis Law," said Tremaine Wright, president of the New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB), in a press release. “The sale of unproven products puts lives in danger. I implore these illegal shop operators, and any other shop pretending to be a legal operation, to stop selling cannabis products immediately."
NY Getting Ready To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
Last month, the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) approved a compilation of codes, rules, and regulations for cannabis packaging, labeling, advertising, and testing requirements. In addition, the CCB approved applications to marijuana growers to ensure the market has enough product when cannabis adult-use sales launch in the state.
“New York is building the most equitable cannabis industry in the nation, one that prioritizes those communities most harmed under cannabis prohibition,” said Damian Fagon, OCM chief equity officer.
“Stores selling unregulated cannabis products without licenses undercut those efforts. Plain and simple,” Fagon added. “Illicit stores don’t contribute to our communities, they don’t support our public schools and they don’t protect consumers. That’s why we’re working with partners across government to investigate these operations and hold them accountable.”
In regards to the above, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed a bill by Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D) and Sen. Michelle Hinchey (D) to create conditional cultivation licenses earlier in the next year. Therefore, marijuana operators would gain an advantage in growing cannabis to meet the demand for adult cannabis.
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