March 23, 2023

Crackdown proposed for illegal pot shops in New York

New York authorities would be given expanded power to shut down illegal pot shops and levy fines of up to $200,000 under legislation proposed Wednesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul, who’s seeking to protect the state’s fledgling legal market for recreational marijuana.

New York is trying to get its potentially massive adult legal market into high gear but has just three shops opened so far in New York City, two in upstate New York and more shops planned. Legal operations in the city are being undermined by a proliferation of unlicensed stores.

City officials have already gone after landlords who have allowed illicit shops to operate. The new bill before Legislature would give the state Office of Cannabis Management and state tax officials new powers to crack down on unlicensed activity.

The bill would give the cannabis office expanded authority to seize illicit products and establish procedures for the government to shut down unlicensed businesses. Violations could lead to fines of $200,000 for illicit cannabis plants or products and businesses could be fined $10,000 a day for selling cannabis without a license, according to the Hochul administration.

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