In a series of inspections in November, New York cannabis regulators seized 812 pounds of flower during the inspection of 71 shops suspected of conducting unregulated cannabis sales. The action, which included investigators from the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF), also seized 701 pounds of edibles and 61 pounds of concentrates.
OCM said the value of all products seized in the November crackdown on unlicensed shops totaled barely $3 million. The agency said that more than $54 million in unlawful cannabis has been seized during investigations into unlicensed businesses selling cannabis products this year.
In a statement, Chris Alexander, executive director of OCM, said regulators are prioritizing safety “by working diligently to shut down illegal operators.”
“The number one remedy for the problem of these illicit shops is getting more legal businesses open. New Yorkers want to know where their products are coming from, and they know they can rely on safe, trusted, and locally grown cannabis when they walk into one of our legal dispensaries. We will continue to seize illegal products, and we know that the collaborative work continues across all levels of government to address this public health crisis.” — Alexander in a press release
In November, OCM and DTF inspected 71 shops, including 13 re-inspections. So far this year, the agencies have inspected 350 locations, including 88 re-inspections, and have seized more than 11,000 pounds of illicit cannabis.
In New York, fines for the illegal sale of cannabis start at $10,000 per day and can rise to $20,000 per day for what OCM described as “the most egregious conduct.” An additional fine of $5,000 can be levied for the removal of paper orders affixed to shut down businesses, and the inspected businesses may also be subject to additional violations and penalties under state tax law.
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