Buzzkill for LES Weed Dispensaries as NYS Demands Cease and Desist

Posted on: July 8th, 2022 at 5:00 am by

The good times aren’t yet rolling.

The state’s nascent Office of Cannabis Management yesterday publicly identified fifty-two illicit cannabis stores currently operating across New York State; all were issued cease-and-desist letters directing store owners to stop illicit cannabis sales.

Of those targeted, two such businesses are located on the Lower East Side – Empire Cannabis Club (172 Allen Street) and Kushfly (118 Madison Street).

These stores falsely depict operations as legal cannabis dispensaries, yet don’t carry a license. Intent of the issued letters is to notify operators that failure to cease operations could permanently bar them from receiving any future cannabis licenses in the state.

Of particular note, too, is the classification of so-called “gifting” of weed as equivalent to a sale. Which puts many other weed joints in the crosshairs (including some in Hell Square).

“There are no businesses currently licensed to sell adult-use cannabis in New York State,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of New York’s Cannabis Control Board. “Selling any item or taking a donation, and then ‘gifting’ a customer a bag of untested cannabis does indeed count as a sale under New York’s Cannabis Law.”

The state agency also noted that it “has received referrals of additional illicit storefront operations from local law enforcement and the general public that are under review.”

These stores are masquerading as licensed, regulated businesses, but they are nothing of the sort,” said Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management.

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