New York City Officials Announce Crackdown on Illegal Cannabis Dispensaries

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday that city officials will take action across the city against illegally operating cannabis shops as part of an enforcement effort called “Operation Padlock to Protect.”

Full story after the jump.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday announced that city officials would begin enforcement actions in the five boroughs to shut down illegally operating cannabis shops. “Operation Padlock to Protect” comes after state officials last month gave municipalities the regulatory authority to shutter unlicensed cannabis dispensaries and other businesses, such as smoke shops, which are selling cannabis without state approval.

The operation includes cooperation between the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP).

“Today, our administration is delivering on a promise to shut down unlicensed smoke and cannabis shops, protect our young people, and ensure that the future of legal cannabis burns bright in New York City. Thanks to Governor Kathy Hochul and our partners in the state Legislature, New York City is now using the full force of the law across every borough to padlock and protect our streets. Legal cannabis remains the right choice for our city, but to those who choose to break the law – we will shut you down.” — Adams in a press release  

In a statement, DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga noted that through the agency’s “own routine enforcement of the state and city’s tobacco and e-cigarette laws” it has issued more than 20,000 summonses and closed 128 illegal retailers since the start of the Adams Administration.  

The administration, coordinating with local and state authorities to form the New York City Sheriff’s Office Joint Compliance Task Force to Address Illegal Smoke Shops, has imposed $108 million in penalties – including an estimated $33 million in illegal products seized and over $75 million in civil penalties issued – and conducted more than 2,100 compliance and intelligence inspections. The task force also sent letters to 603 landlords and building owners warning that they could be legally liable for unlicensed cannabis sales by their tenants.

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