The Office of Cannabis Regulation and the Department of Taxation and Finance enforced product seizures and initiated the process of closing unlicensed storefronts.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the launch of an interagency initiative to stop the sale of untested marijuana from unlicensed storefronts and trucks. Enforcement officers from the New York State Office of Marijuana Management and the Department of Taxation and Finance conduct inspections of storefront businesses that are not licensed to sell cannabis and issue notices of violations and orders to cease unlicensed activity when appropriate. These actions will be replicated statewide to end the open sale of untested marijuana by unlicensed businesses. As part of the FY 2024 Budget, Governor Hochul sign important legislation Allow these expanded enforcement actions against unlicensed cannabis businesses.

“New York is proud to introduce the fairest legal marijuana in the nation, and New York State will not stand idly by as unlicensed operators break the law and sell untested products to underage New Yorkers,” governor Hao Zhe said. “These enforcement actions are a critical step in protecting and helping individuals who are promised the opportunity to start a legitimate business and succeed. In addition, these unlicensed operators undermine the state’s efforts to raise significant amounts of money for a social equity fund that will go into the past Communities hardest hit by over-prosecuted marijuana laws.”

As part of the FY 2024 budget, Gov. Hochul signed legislation allowing for increased enforcement of unlicensed marijuana businesses. The legislation allows the Office of Marijuana Regulation to assess civil penalties against unlicensed cannabis businesses that undercut their efforts, imposing fines of up to $20,000 per day for the worst behavior. It also makes it a crime to sell marijuana and marijuana products without a license.

As a result of the legislation, the Department of Taxation and Treasury can also conduct regulatory inspections of businesses selling marijuana to determine whether proper taxes are being paid and impose civil penalties if proper taxes are not paid. The legislation also creates new tax fraud offenses for businesses that willfully fail to collect or pay required marijuana taxes, or knowingly possess and sell any marijuana that is subject to tax but not paid.

By taking decisive action against unlicensed dispensaries, New York State has taken an important step toward rooting out illegal cannabis operations that endanger public safety, consumer well-being, and the integrity of New York State’s legal cannabis market. This hybrid approach aims to foster a fair and regulated market environment, ensure consumer protection and strengthen support for licensed cannabis businesses.

New York State Cannabis Control Commission Chair Tremaine Wright said, “The successful enforcement actions in New York City against the sale of marijuana in unlicensed storefronts and trucks clearly demonstrate that New York State is serious about cracking down on the operations of illegal businesses. By enforcing the law, under the authority of new legislation, we are preserving public safety as well as the legal cannabis market integrity. Our mission is to create a fair and regulated environment that supports licensed businesses and protects consumers.”

Chris Alexander, executive director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Regulation, said, “Through the cooperation of our law enforcement teams and law enforcement agencies, we will be able to take meaningful action against illegal cannabis operations that pose myriad risks to our communities. This targeted action is a step toward promoting safe, transparent A major step for the cannabis industry in York State. With enhanced penalties and uniform enforcement measures in place, we are actively working towards our goal of creating a regulated marketplace that fosters consumer trust and supports licensed operators. ”

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