NYC Mayor's Office

New York City Mayor Urges No ‘Heavy-Handedness’ for Unregulated Cannabis Sales

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D), a former New York City Police Department officer, said he doesn’t want to see heavy enforcement against businesses found to be illegally gifting cannabis.

Full story after the jump.

During the Cannabis World Congress and Business over the weekend at the Javits Center in Manhattan, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) said there should be no “heavy-handedness” in the enforcement of gifting or unlicensed cannabis sales in the city while the state moves toward regulated sales, the New York Daily News reports.

“There needs to be a system of not heavy-handedness, but going in and explaining to that store that, ‘Listen, you can’t do this,’ give them a warning.” – Adams, during his remarks, via the Daily News

Adams is a former New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer, state senator, and Brooklyn Borough President.

Instead of fines and arrests, Adams indicated he would rather officials help steer those caught selling cannabis prior to the launch of sales toward the legal market, noting that he has earmarked nearly $5 million in his executive budget to provide support for New Yorkers on industry applications and licensing.

Adams said that there should be “some form” of enforcement for repeat offenders.

“If they refuse to adhere to the rules, then you have to come back and take some form of enforcement actions,” he said during his remarks, “such as a summons, such as, you know, talking about their ability to sell alcohol.”

During his speech, Adams joked that he was “a bit disappointed” about the lack of “a nice scent of weed” during the event and encouraged attendees to get high.

“Enjoy yourself, light up, but most importantly, spend some money,” he said. “We want your money.”

In April, Adams suggested allowing cannabis to be grown on the rooftops of city-run housing. However, the plan was met with skepticism from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spokesperson Olga Alvarez, who said that the agency had not been “approached” on the issue and said, “marijuana is illegal in public housing.”

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