New York City Cops Seize Millions Of Dollars In Illegal Weed Products Under Mayor's 'Operation Padlock'; Cannabis Management Chief Resigns

Zinger Key Points
  • The NYC police and Sheriff's Office find millions of dollars-worth of illegal cannabis products stored in a huge unmarked warehouse.
  • Officials are still searching for the owner of the warehouse. They say products were possibly from other states or even other countries.
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In what started out as a basic 911 burglary call early Saturday morning in Brooklyn led to the discovery of millions of dollars-worth of illegal cannabis products stored in a huge unmarked warehouse.

The New York City police department (NYPD) and the City Sheriff’s Office were quickly on the scene. They confiscated products that were destined for the city's thousands of illicit weed shops, according to the Mayor’s Office.

Law enforcement is still searching for the owner of the warehouse, various New York outlets reported. The NYPD, the Sheriff’s Office and the Deptartment of Consumer and Worker Protection are part of Mayor Eric Adams' Operation Padlock, a sustained multi-agency enforcement effort to shut down illegal smoke and cannabis shops across the Big Apple’s five boroughs.

What Was Found In Brooklyn

The products were unregulated and possibly from other states or even other countries, investigators said.

“There are THC vapes. There’s THC gummies, THC flower, pre-rolls. There’s several million dollars’ worth of product packaged for distribution throughout the city of New York,” said Maureen Kokeas of the Sheriff’s Office.

“Some of it could be coming from legal states, illegally, illegally diverted from states who are authorized to grow product. We know some of it comes from overseas that is completely illegal product and we don’t even know what’s in it,” Kokeas added.

Asked about her initial reaction when she saw the huge haul, Kokeas said, “I think that the Sheriff’s Office and the NYPD and our task force members will be very happy. This is going to be off the streets.”

CBS New York’s Derick Waller, who was allowed to film inside the warehouse, reported seeing brightly colored packaged items with playful names, suggesting they were likely being marketed to minors.

Operation Padlock recently closed down 75 illicit shops and issued some $6 million in fines. Saturday’s Brooklyn raid was the largest so far undertaken by the task force.

Head Of New York's Office Of Cannabis Management Resigns

Meanwhile, Chris Alexander the head of New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), resigned on Friday after weeks of public upheaval between the agency and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's office. Hochul essentially sacked Alexander following a scathing May 10 report that bashed the OCM as incompetent and irresponsible. Shortly after, the governor said Alexander’s contract would end in September and not be renewed.

"I have been reluctant to write this email due to the deep connection and commitment I have to this work and to this Team," Alexander wrote in an email obtained by THE CITY. "And while I planned to serve out the remainder of my term, I no longer have confidence in my ability to do my job and lead this team effectively under current circumstances."

Photo: NYC Sheriff’s Office

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsLegalTop StoriesChris AlexanderGov HochulMaureen KokeasMayor AdamsNYC cannabis bust
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