Through a coordinated cross-agency effort, enforcement operations have seized at least £1,000 and nearly $11 million in illegal products.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the results of an initial enforcement action against unlicensed marijuana businesses.The first two weeks of work were led by the New York State Office of Cannabis Regulation and the Departments of Taxation and Finance, which have been authorized under a bill new law The governor signed it in May as part of the state’s fiscal year 2024 budget.

“Under the new powers I fought for in this year’s state budget, we can now enforce laws against businesses that illegally sell marijuana, and I’m proud to report that in the first three weeks of our efforts, we’ve seized nearly $11 million the value of illicit products on the streets,” Governor Hocher said. “These unlicensed businesses violate our laws, put public health at risk, and disrupt the legal marijuana market, and with powerful new tools in our toolbox, we are sending a clear and strong message: If you New York sells illegal marijuana, you get caught, you get stopped.”

The New York State Office of Marijuana Management (OCM) and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) jointly conducted inspections of 33 storefront businesses in New York City, Ithaca and Binghamton that were not licensed to sell cannabis.The two agencies have issued violation notices to 31 of those businesses, and have seized and listed at least 1,000 pounds of illegal marijuana estimated to be worth nearly $11 million, and more to list. Law enforcement continues throughout the state on a weekly basis, and OCM is aggressively recruiting more officers in an effort to end the illegal sale of marijuana.

New enforcement legislation passed as part of the budget empowers the OCM to impose civil penalties on unlicensed cannabis businesses, with fines starting at $10,000 per day and up to $20,000 per day for the worst conduct. The new law also authorizes the agency to seek state court orders that could eventually target repeat offenders, among other penalties. Additionally, the law makes it a crime to sell marijuana and marijuana products without a license.

In addition to the powers granted to the OCM, the new enforcement law authorizes the DTF to conduct regulatory inspections of businesses selling marijuana to determine whether proper taxes have been paid and to impose civil penalties if 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 hold and sell any marijuana that is subject to tax but has not been paid.

By taking decisive action against unlicensed cannabis businesses, New York State has made significant progress in combating illegal cannabis operations that jeopardize public safety, consumer well-being, and the integrity of New York State’s legal cannabis market. To assist with these ongoing operations, the FY 2024 Budget also provides $5 million for an additional 37 OCM staff to perform enforcement duties.

Governor Hochul also named Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight to the Cannabis Control Board (CCB). Commissioner Knight will take up his post immediately and attend the CCB meeting next month.

Chris Alexander, executive director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Regulation, said, “Today, Governor Hochle issued a stern warning to all businesses selling marijuana without a license: New York State is closing you down. Thanks to the Governor’s efforts, our law enforcement teams are working every day to stop the spread of unlicensed marijuana.”Marijuana sales are everywhere New York state. Supporting local entrepreneurs to start legal cannabis businesses with safe and tested licensed products is critical. OCM is committed to protecting public health and keeping consumers safe. ”

Amanda Hiller, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, said, “We are working with OCM and our law enforcement partners to begin enforcing regulations around the sale of cannabis in New York State. This will be a carefully planned and ongoing effort with the ultimate goal of ensuring a fair and regulated market.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight explain, “Governor Hochul’s vision for a state-led cannabis regulatory framework and market sets the national standard, and I am honored to further serve her administration as a member of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. I look forward to working with other members to ensure that the policies and programs of the Office of Marijuana Management serve the interests of all New Yorkers. ”

New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal People-Stokes said, “I am pleased to see that OCM (New York State Office of Cannabis Management), DTF (New York State Department of Taxation and Finance) and local law enforcement agencies are finally able to address and shut down unlicensed and illegal dispensaries. These illegal stores endanger the health and safety of the public without Tested, unregulated products not only affect public health but also confuse the public as they try to license and sanction their businesses and products even though they are not. These closures are necessary, This, combined with the continued opening of the CAURD dispensary, will allow New York’s legal cannabis market to reach its full potential.”

State Senator Liz Kruger said, “I am pleased that the Office of Cannabis Regulation and the Department of Taxation and Finance finally have the tools needed to shut down unlicensed cannabis operators and protect the growing, equity-focused licensing market. My main focus remains ensuring New York develops a A sustainable adult-use economy supports small businesses and goes some way towards repairing the damage done by the war on drugs.”

State Senator Natalia Fernandez said, “The boom in illegal smoke shops poses a major threat to New York’s carefully established legal cannabis industry. Not only do these unlicensed and unregulated establishments disregard the rules and standards that licensed dispensaries uphold, but they also lack accountability for their actions , especially when selling marijuana to our underage children. Additionally, the use of potentially dangerous additives in products jeopardizes consumer safety and undermines efforts to ensure quality and compliance within the legal marketplace. Therefore, supporting the mayor and governor in combating these illegal operations is critical to safeguarding public health, upholding the integrity of the industry, and upholding the standards set by legitimate businesses.”

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said“Unlicensed marijuana sales disadvantage legitimate businesses, defraud New York taxpayers of base tax revenues, and potentially endanger public health. I applaud Governor Hochul for allocating these important civil enforcement resources to stop these unauthorized businesses , to help level the playing field and give law-abiding cannabis licensees a fair chance to thrive in the legal cannabis industry.”

Marjorie Velazquez, Councilman for the 13th District of New York City, said, “This is a pivotal time for the cannabis industry, and I want to thank Governor Hochul for her leadership in addressing bad actors who put our communities at risk. Thanks to her efforts, we will see multi-team enforcement, This will curb the “proliferation of unlicensed marijuana retailers statewide. Countless entrepreneurs aspire to do business the right way, but are impacted by the negative actions of others,” said Council Member Marjorie Velázquez, Chair of the Consumer and Worker Protection Council. “I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Hochul, the New York State Office of Cannabis Working with the Department of Revenue to ensure consumers, businesses, and our communities have the resources they need to grow New York State’s cannabis industry the right way. Way. “

In addition to the violation notices, the 31 businesses found to be illegally selling marijuana also had orders to cease unlicensed activity posted outside their doors. The businesses must now appear at an administrative hearing, which will determine the final fines and penalties they will face. Cancellation of the order carries an additional $5,000 penalty, and inspected businesses may be subject to additional violations and penalties under the tax code.

Following these initial inspections, OCM and DTF will follow up with inspection locations to ensure unauthorized activity has ceased. If unlicensed activity is found to persist, OCM can petition the state Supreme Court for an order to close the retail space until the location complies with cannabis law and its associated regulations.

Additional information about fines:

The ALJ may impose additional fines of up to $20,000 per day if an unlicensed location is found to continue to sell cannabis products after OCM has issued a violation notice/cease order. Additionally, if an unlicensed business removes an OCM violation notice or warning posted on the business’s storefront, the business can be fined up to $5,000.

Additional information about previous and ongoing operations:

OCM and DTF began the first joint inspection mandated by the new enforcement law in New York City the week of June 5, 2023, and inspections will continue to be active.

The following stores have been inspected by OCM and DTF officers and have been notified of violations:

  • Broadway Variety – 736 Broadway, New York, NY

  • Roll 2 Nation – 738 Broadway, New York, NY

  • Baby Jitter – 793 Broadway, New York, NY

  • Maze – 16 St. Marks Place, New York, NY

  • LaGuardia Smoke – 510 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY

  • Nomad – 59 West 30th Street, New York, NY

  • Play Lane – 117B W 23rd Street, New York, NY

  • Cannabis Culture – 403 8th Avenue, New York, NY

  • Tobacco Factory – 287 7th Avenue, New York, NY

  • Go Green Pharmacy – 603 6th Avenue, New York, NY

  • Daydream – 1181 Broadway, New York, NY

  • Giggs- 59 1st Avenue, New York, NY

  • Empire Smoke Shop – 57 1st Avenue, New York, NY

  • New York Smoke – 104 MacDougal Street, New York, NY

  • Caviar – 110 MacDougal Street, New York, NY

  • Sweet and Sour – 73 2nd Avenue, New York, NY

  • Smart Smoking – 143 1st Avenue, New York, NY

  • Old G Convenience Company – 18 West 14th Street, New York, NY

  • Premier Top, Inc – 54 14th Street, New York, NY

  • Black Leaf – 103 East State Street, Ithaca, NY

  • Zaza Convenience Store – 101 East State Street, Ithaca, NY

  • Ritz Hotel – 312 Fourth Street, Ithaca, NY

  • Puff N Pass Smoke Shop – 222 Elmira Road #10, Ithaca, NY

  • Green Magic – 114 Henry Street, Binghamton, NY

  • Takeoff – 2-63 Chenango Street, Binghamton, NY

  • BMillz 122 Washington Ave, Endicott NY

  • Lowndes 14 First Avenue, NY

  • BMillz 1110 Conklin Rd, Conklin New York

  • Royal Vapes, 113 Washington Ave, Endicott NY

  • Sogie Mart 24 Ave A, NY NY

  • Recreational Plus Pharmacy180 1st Ave, NY NY

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