New York Regulators Pause Administrative Trials of Unlicensed Cannabis Businesses

New York’s Office of Cannabis Management has stopped the administrative trial process for businesses accused of retailing cannabis without a license.

Full story after the jump.

New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has stopped holding administrative trials for businesses accused of selling cannabis without a license, The City reports. The last such trial was held October 20 and OCM told The City the pause was due to a lack of resources and that it did not know when the trials would reconvene. 

According to OCM, as of last week, the agency said it has issued 270 enforcement actions across the state since June and seized an estimated $45 million worth of illicit cannabis. Since June, OCM has held 26 administrative trials and levied $220,000 in fines, the report says. Decisions are still pending in 10 other cases. Two attorneys representing with cases pending before the OCM told The City they had received notifications of withdrawal.     

OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander has publicly expressed reservations about the agency’s enforcement of unlicensed cannabis shops, saying during a meeting with community boards earlier this month that “It was never OCM’s mission to do this type of enforcement.” 

“I want to be very clear,” Alexander said during the meeting, “that the strategy has not worked.” 

Under New York regulations, illegally operating cannabis businesses can face fines up to $20,000 per day of operation. A member of OCM, on background, told Ganjapreneur earlier this month that the agency did not have enough staff to keep up with enforcement of unlicensed cannabis shops.  

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