New York City, NY

NYC Cracking Down on Smoke Shops Illegally Selling Marijuana

Bridget Mulroy
NYC Cracking Down on Smoke Shops Illegally Selling MarijuanaPhoto by(@webphotographeer/istock)

New York is cracking down on shops illegally selling marijuana harder now than ever before. You may recall in November of last year, a shop in Brooklyn, Big Chief, was picked apart by NYPD after being found selling unregulated marijuana.

You're probably thinking, ‘weed is legal now, what’s the big deal?’ Marijuana being legal now in New York IS the big deal. When businesses, dispensaries, and medical providers need to bend over backward to be allowed to sell, grow, and administer cannabis without legal repercussions, it becomes a big deal when unregulated cannabis is still being sold.

Its lack of regulation limits a consumer’s understanding of strain, potency, source, and even authenticity. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has sent eviction-warning notices to over 400 smoke shops in the City suspected of selling illegal marijuana.

Before you jump and assume this story is pro-taxes, you need to consider the hoops that have to be jumped through by the establishments looking to grow and administer the freshly-legal crops – a lot goes into legally selling legal marijuana. Basically, the people cutting corners to sell cannabis are slapping the people who did it the right way in the face.

When it was illegal, it found its way into the hands of anyone who wanted to get it. That is no longer the case since the price at dispensaries – with taxes – isn’t far off from its price when it was illegal.

The District Attorney is also arguing that shops selling unregulated cannabis are more likely to be targeted for robberies. The DA shared a video released by the NYPD of two men using a hammer to break the glass barrier protecting the people and items behind the register at a smoke shop in Gravesend, Brooklyn. The thieves made off with cannabis and CBD products.

“Not just anyone can sell just because it's legal." – Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg

“You can't just open a shop." – Mayor Eric Adams

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