New York Shuts Down More Than 100 Illegal Dispensaries in 3 Weeks

Since its launch about three weeks ago, the New York task force assigned to shutting down illegally operating cannabis dispensaries has closed 114 storefronts.

Full story after the jump.

New York’s task force to shut down illegal dispensaries in the state has closed 114 storefronts in the three weeks since the launch of the enforcement actions just three weeks ago. Officials said more than $29 million worth of products were seized in the closures. 

Licensed retailers in enforcement areas reported a 27% higher increase in sales from the first week of May to the first week of June, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office said in a press release, nearly seven times higher than the previous month-over-month data.   

In a statement, Felicia A.B. Reid, Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) acting executive director, said that unlicensed cannabis shops “threaten to undo the incredible work New York has done to center equity, create jobs, and ensure the integrity of products as the cannabis market expands.” 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who announced last month that city officials were planning to crack down on illegal dispensaries, added that the shops “contributed to a feeling that anything goes” in New York City.  

“After working with Governor Hochul and our partners in Albany to give local municipalities the power we needed to weed out this illegal activity, we launched ‘Operation Padlock to Protect,’ which is already seeing stunning results. In a matter of weeks, we have shut down nearly 400 smoke shops, seized $13.3 million in illegal products, and imposed more than $30 million in fines and penalties. Our work will protect children, keep our streets safe, and contribute to the thriving legal market that New York deserves.” — Adams in a press release 

Hochul launched the Cannabis Enforcement Task Force on May 21. The task force is a statewide law enforcement effort to coordinate staff from several agencies, including OCM, State Police and other state agencies, to combat the illicit cannabis market. The task force has worked with landlords to evict illegal dispensaries and works to penalize landlords who fail to take steps to evict tenants after they are informed they are operating illegally. 

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