According to a recent investigation, about 40% of cannabis products bought from unlicensed cannabis shops in New York City tested positive for harmful contaminants including E. coli, lead, and salmonella, Bloomberg reports. The report, commissioned by the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association (NYMCIA), investigated cannabis products purchased from 20 illicit New York City cannabis shops.
In addition to the contaminants demonstrated through lab testing, every product was found to be noncompliant with the state’s proposed branding regulations, which outlaw packaging and product designs that could be considered attractive to children. Some of the tested products even featured images of copyrighted food brands like Rice Krispies, Bloomberg said.
“The report’s findings are deeply troubling and highlight the tremendous risks posed by unscrupulous firms operating above the law. New York has a responsibility to not only protect the health and safety of its residents but also to fulfill the promise of a socially equitable adult-use market. Neither goal can be realized without stricter enforcement against bad actors.” — NYMCIA President Ngiste Abebe, in a statement
New York regulators scrapped the state’s adult-use cannabis testing limits last month for yeast, bacteria, and mold after cultivators expressed concern that the majority of their products wouldn’t pass the strict rules. Meanwhile, officials approved New York‘s first cannabis retail licenses on November 21, prioritizing individuals who were disproportionately affected by prohibition, and regulators have said they intend for legal adult-use sales to launch by 2023.
In September, a group of New York state lawmakers wrote to New York City Mayor Eric Adams asking him to “move swiftly” in clamping down on illegal cannabis sales in the city. The mayor, who is a former New York City Police Department officer, had said in June that he didn’t want to see heavy enforcement against businesses found to be illegally gifting cannabis.
Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe