Some NY Lawmakers Say Illicit Pot Shops Must Close Before Adding Licensed Shops

Some NY Lawmakers Say Illicit Pot Shops Must Close Before Adding Licensed Shops

After adult-use cannabis was officially legalized in New York, the road ahead has been quite bumpy, with multiple roadblocks delaying store licensing and preventing the legal industry from reaching its full potential.

Numerous lawsuits and changes in gubernatorial leadership have delayed the licensing and opening of dispensaries, resulting in a flourishing illicit market that greatly outnumbers the number of legal dispensaries in the state.

As New York state growers, operators, and countless cannabis professionals continue to wait for license approval, some New York state lawmakers are taking a different approach (that could end industry hopefuls’ wait). (The time is likely to be even longer).

In other words, Queens Community Board 9 Chair Shelly Algredo says New York state should refrain from adding licensed cannabis stores to the District until authorities can shut down illegally operating establishments. he claimed. new york post report. Community Board 9 covers the Key Gardens, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, and Woodhaven neighborhoods.

Continued concerns over New York’s bustling illegal cannabis market

In a recent letter, Algredo said, “The board has already received feedback from residents regarding the proliferation of illegal smoking establishments operating in our district and the negative impact these establishments are having on our communities. “We received a lot of concerns.” “Therefore, the Board will not support new applications until these illegal operations are shut down.”

While Algredo’s statement reads as fairly definitive, the board’s recommendations, while being advisory to state regulators, could still influence final policy decisions. The law that legalized marijuana in New York requires applicants for a marijuana license to notify and appear before the community board of the area in which they plan to operate before opening a business.

While the debate over illegal marijuana stores in New York continues, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and other lawmakers have consistently touted efforts to alleviate the problem.

In April, the governor announced new initiatives aimed at shutting down illegal cannabis businesses and protecting the legal cannabis market. The plan would give new powers to the Cannabis Control Authority and local authorities to take action against illegal shops.

“Unlicensed pharmacies are littering New York neighborhoods, blatantly circumventing the law and selling potentially dangerous products,” Hochul said. statement. “Come on man. I made a promise to protect our community and our hardworking legal cannabis licensees by expediting the closure of illegal stores. I’m proud to stand up and say we got it done.” I think so.”

The state’s 100th adult-use store opened last month. New York state legalized cannabis for adult use on March 31, 2021. It also appears that number should rise soon, as the New York State Cannabis Control Board (CCB) announced last month that it had approved an additional 101 adult-use cannabis licenses. By 2024, the total number of approved sites will exceed 400.

Conversely, only New York City Approximately 2,000 illegal cannabis stores are currently operating..

The state is still doing everything it can to resolve issues related to developments in the legal profession. Lawmakers recently passed another resolution authorizing the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) to issue provisional licenses, which the CCB hopes will speed up the license issuance process.

“This measure aims to provide provisional license holders with the opportunity to start their operations quickly while complying with regulatory requirements and to foster a dynamic and competitive market,” the CCB said. Masu. explained.

Still, it’s clear that shutting down illegal marijuana stores in the state will not be an easy task. Many illegal stores quickly reopened following raids and temporary closure orders under previous rules, but it remains to be seen how effective the newly announced law on closing illegal stores will be in practice. isn’t it.

Therefore, closing all illegal stores before allowing new ones to open, even in a single district, may be more difficult in practice than in theory. Still, some lawmakers support the need to close unlicensed stores before opening more licensed ones.

“There are 32 illegal cannabis stores. Until the unlicensed stores are closed, we will not accept any applications for legal cannabis stores,” said CB9 District Manager James McClelland. post.

David B.
David B. stands out as an exceptional cannabis writer, skillfully navigating the intricate world of cannabis culture and industry. His insightful and well-researched articles provide a nuanced perspective on various aspects, from the therapeutic benefits to the evolving legal landscape. David's writing reflects a deep understanding of the plant's history, its diverse strains, and the ever-changing dynamics within the cannabis community. What sets him apart is his ability to break down complex topics into digestible pieces, making the information accessible to both seasoned enthusiasts and newcomers alike. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for the subject, David B. emerges as a reliable and engaging voice in the realm of cannabis literature.

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