New York is preparing to award its first retail licenses to sell legal cannabis products on Monday — but regulated dealers will face up to the smoke because of a burgeoning black market, The Post has learned.
The state cannabis control board is expected to review applications from companies and nonprofit organizations and award some of the first 150 “Retail dispensary licenses for adult conditional use”.
Some stores may be open for sale by the end of the year – but industry leaders argue that without a crackdown on illegal sellers, Startups can be built to fail.
“[State pols] “I’m walking in New York right now, and I smell weed!” Joseph Davidson, CEO of the Nevada-based cannabis consulting firm, told Canvus.
It was recreational marijuana Certified as part of last year’s budget processbut the law failed to create an enforcement mechanism to crack down on the smoldering black market trade.
Although unlicensed stores still couldn’t sell or “gift” cannabis, illegal pot products were passed around town like a sharp circle, creating stiff competition for soon-to-open legal sellers.
“It’s kind of counterproductive to the way they put it and I think it’s shortsighted,” Davidson told The Post. “If I were a businessman, I wouldn’t invest in the retail market here.”
Even the black market is growing like weed in the tidy neighbourhoods—like Kew Gardens, Queens—where a Post reporter readily bought candy and other smokeable items on Saturday evening.
The reporter purchased “Premium Cannabis Flower” described as “The Runtz” and “Krazy Runtz” in a two-way deal at Triangle Dreams located at 82-64 Austin Street. A store clerk showed the weed in glass containers for display, before ringing him up for $70 cash.
Then the writer bought “Cotton Cluster” cannabis-infused gummies for $25 cash from Lefferts Exotics at 81-27 Lefferts Blvd. The supply package described the contents as 10 mg of THC per gum and 100 mg for a bag of 10.
Another reporter went to NYC Convenience at 40 Exchange Place in Lower Manhattan, where he bought two pre-made joints. Pay $15.60 per stick with a credit card. The receipt left the items unlisted.
The marijuana dispensary licenses scheduled to be delivered Monday are part of a batch of 36 preliminary approvals.
Up to 150 licenses will eventually be distributed – all to New Yorkers Previously convicted of marijuana offenses. The delay in handing over all the expected licenses stems from a hadith Federal court order Licenses temporarily banned in parts of the state.
An NYPD spokesperson said that although the department and the New York City Sheriff’s Office were Weed trucks shut down Selling roving product, the law makes it difficult to monitor stores effectively.
“The law, as it is currently written, does not provide an enforcement mechanism when an unlicensed establishment offers cannabis for sale,” he told The Post in a statement, when asked about the administration’s efforts to crack down on offenders.
“The law does not provide an enforcement mechanism except where the actual sale is considered, and even then the penalties are limited due to problems with the law as written,” the statement read. “Furthermore, state law does not provide the New York Police Department with a mechanism to shut down unlicensed establishments.”
State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Brooklyn/Staten Island) said the legislature needs to amend the law so that state, local governments and police agencies can punish bad actors with either higher fines or permanent bans.
Savino, who sponsored the bill that created New York’s medical marijuana program, told the newspaper.
“They don’t have to provide any documentation, or share their data with any agency or anyone — how is a legal license holder supposed to compete with that?”
City Councilman Bob Holden (De Queens) told The Post that his office is awash with complaints from small business owners who complain that lack of enforcement is bad for business — and government intervention is needed.
“What’s the point of going through bureaucratic paperwork, paying thousands of dollars for a license, and possibly hiring a lawyer to see you through the process, only to lose out to your competitors selling cannabis illegally?” He wrote in a letter obtained by The Post, which he sent to Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams asking for tighter regulations.
“Illegal drug dealers used to be in the back alleys. Now they’re given a storefront and they’re tax-exempt.”
A spokesperson for the state’s Office of Cannabis Management said it is “excited to file the first retail dispensary license applications for stores that will be owned by those who have been convicted of cannabis, or family members of those who have been convicted of cannabis, along with willfully nonprofit organizations. Serving justice includes individuals.” and communities.”
These individuals and nonprofit organizations will be considered by the Cannabis Oversight Board on November 21StreetMeeting. “If approved by the Board, licensees of retail dispensaries will be able to move forward with their businesses and prepare for sales before the end of the year,” spokesman Freeman Klubot said in a statement.
Clopot added that “there can be no regulated legal market working side by side with an illegal market.”
“From the town of Cheektowaga to New York City, OCM and law enforcement agencies have worked together to try to stop illegal activity across the state,” the statement said. “These efforts have included confiscating products, issuing cease and desist letters, removing trucks used for the illegal sale of cannabis, and we will continue to enforce the law to end their operations.”