More than 1,300 dispensaries in New York City are said to be selling marijuana illegally.
A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department reportedly told Fox 5 New York that there have been obstacles to capturing cannabis sold illegally.
The New York City Sheriff’s Department has published photos from business inspections on social media. Undercover purchases and the subsequent seizure in December of marijuana, concentrated cannabis, vape items, and delicacies containing THC after a protracted investigation in Far Rockaway.
Sherriff Anthony Miranda, who is leading a newly established interagency task force, told the City Council on Wednesday that “teams will be despatched to all five boroughs on different days of the week,” as reported by Gothamist.
There are both long-term and short-term investigations being conducted, he said.
Miranda claims that three arrests have been made as a result of the task force’s inspections of businesses for trademark infringement.
Longer he acknowledged that nuisance abatement “takes a little while because the person has to have due process,” he clarified that making arrests was not the primary objective.
For more than $4 million in illegal goods, the task force worked for two weeks, according to Mayor Eric Adams last month. They also issued 566 summonses for both civil and criminal offenses.
Two people were taken into custody for felonies, and a third was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant.
The economic potential that legal cannabis offers will not be exploited by unlicensed businesses, Adams said in a statement. “With the help of this pilot interagency task force, New York City and the state were able to crack down on criminals who were endangering the lives of New Yorkers, especially the city’s youth, by trying to the line and undercut the legal market.
There has to come to a point when shops that aren’t authorized to offer certain items cease doing so and start acting legally.”
When asked about the illegal businesses, Miranda said, “We have an obligation to support the legal cannabis industry and create a fair opportunity for legal dispensaries to succeed, and that means taking enforcement action against those who continue to operate illegally by selling contraband and evading taxes.”
“The combined efforts of the task force under Mayor Adams convey a clear message to unlawful enterprises that their actions will not be allowed, and that they will be required to comply with licensing rules,” the statement reads.