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Governor reports increase in legal cannabis sales in New York amidst crackdown on illegal stores

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Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams of New York recently announced significant progress in cracking down on illegal cannabis shops at both the city and state levels. Since the launch of the New York State Cannabis Enforcement Task Force in May, they have shut down 114 illegal stores and seized over $29 million worth of illegal products. Legal dispensaries located near the shuttered illegal shops have seen a 27% rise in sales, showing the impact of the crackdown.

Mayor Adams also mentioned the success of the city’s “Operation Padlock to Protect,” resulting in the closure of nearly 400 smoke shops and seizure of $13.3 million in illegal products in a short period of time. The officials highlighted that many of the products seized were designed to target children, with packaging resembling children’s cereal and cupcake mix. Hochul emphasized the importance of preventing young people from getting hooked on cannabis products at an early age, stating that it is not allowed in the state of New York.

The New York State Cannabis Enforcement Task Force is currently in the early stages of its 90-day plan to address illegal cannabis shops. In addition to the crackdown, the governor announced a major overhaul of the state’s Office of Cannabis Management in May. This includes fixing the internal licensing process, clearing up the backlog of applications, and setting a goal to complete new license applications within 90 days. The efforts to regulate the legal cannabis program in New York are part of the state’s broader efforts to ensure a safe and controlled market for cannabis products.

The crackdown on illegal cannabis shops in New York is a crucial step in ensuring the safety and integrity of the state’s legal cannabis market. By shutting down illegal stores and seizing illegal products, officials are sending a clear message that unauthorized cannabis sales will not be tolerated. The increase in sales at legal dispensaries following the closure of illegal shops demonstrates the positive impact of the enforcement efforts.

Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams have shown a strong commitment to addressing the issue of illegal cannabis shops in New York. The efforts of the New York State Cannabis Enforcement Task Force and “Operation Padlock to Protect” have resulted in tangible results, with hundreds of illegal shops closed and millions of dollars worth of illegal products seized. By targeting products designed to appeal to children, officials are taking proactive steps to protect young people from the dangers of early cannabis use.

As New York continues to work towards a more regulated and controlled cannabis market, the crackdown on illegal shops is an important aspect of ensuring public safety. The overhaul of the state’s cannabis management office and the focus on improving the licensing process are key steps in creating a transparent and efficient regulatory framework. By enforcing strict regulations and cracking down on illegal operations, New York is taking a proactive approach to managing the challenges of the emerging cannabis industry.

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