NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. announced Tuesday a partnership with local law enforcement and elected officials to combat the proliferation of illegal and unlicensed cannabis dispensaries throughout Manhattan borough.
First, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) filed complaints Tuesday against four unlicensed establishments who sell cannabis in the NYPD Ninth Precinct. The complaints allege that an officer observed the sale of cannabis products at these establishments to minors and tried to shut them down for illegally selling cannabis products and operating without a license.
In addition, the Manhattan district attorney’s office mailed letters to each of the more than 400 known smoke shops in Manhattan, warning them of the possibility of eviction proceedings for illegal cannabis sales.
“Cannabis legalization was a huge step forward for equity and justice, but we are not going to take two steps back by allowing illegal smoke shops to take over this emerging market,” said Mayor Adams. “Today, we are proud to announce that we are taking direct action against four unlicensed tobacco stores in the Ninth Precinct, which will complement our efforts with District Attorney Bragg to hold these illegal businesses accountable. We are precisely focused on protecting the health and well-being of New Yorkers and making sure this emerging industry delivers equity to those who deserve it most. I also want to recognize the tireless work of the New York City Police Department and Sheriff’s Office to combat the spread of unlicensed tobacco stores throughout our city and keep New Yorkers safe.”
Mayor Adams has partnered with DA Bragg and other elected leaders in a collaborative enforcement effort that will protect New York’s fledgling legal cannabis industry, as well as the health and well-being of consumers and young New Yorkers at risk from unsafe products. regulated.
More specifically, the NYPD complaints allege that officers observed the sale of cannabis to underage Auxiliary Officers at these four establishments in Manhattan: Runtz Tobacco, located at 14 First Avenue; Broadway, located at 736 Broadway; Saint Marks Convenience & Smoke Shop, located at 103 Saint Marks Place; and Sogie Mart Rolls & Puff, located at 24 Avenue A. The NYPD is now seeking to shut down these unlicensed establishments under the New York City Nuisance Reduction Act for the sale of unlicensed cannabis, also a violation of New York State Marijuana Tax and Regulation Law.
“For nearly two years, we have seen a proliferation of storefronts across Manhattan selling unlicensed, unregulated, and untaxed cannabis products. It is time to end the operation of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Just as we don’t allow endless bars and unlicensed liquor stores to open on every corner, we can’t allow that for cannabis. It is not safe to sell products that are not properly inspected and regulated for dosage, purity, and contaminants. And it’s certainly not fair to competing companies. Advocates fought hard to put racial equity at the center of New York’s cannabis legalization regime. We want to give New York’s legal cannabis market a fair chance to prosper and give New Yorkers the security of knowing that there is a safe and orderly system in place for cannabis dispensaries. Together, we can level the playing field for New York’s legal cannabis market and deliver on the promise of fairness and justice that legalization advocates fought so long and hard for.”
The letter from the Manhattan district attorney specifically informs business entities that the office “is prepared to use its civil authority under Real Estate Actions and Proceedings Act § 715(1) to compel landlords and landlords to bring proceedings for eviction of commercial tenants engaged in illegal trade or business, and to take charge of such eviction proceedings if necessary”.
Over the next several weeks, the DA’s office will work with its partners to determine where evidence of unauthorized cannabis sales and other illegal activity exists, and will then notify property owners of their requirement to initiate eviction proceedings.
If the landlord does not file an eviction petition within five days of the written notice, or if, after filing the petition, the landlord fails to “proceed diligently in good faith,” then Bragg’s office will initiate its own proceeding against the tenant as if he were the landlord.
“Smoke shops illegally selling cannabis products are popping up in Manhattan neighborhoods, compromising the integrity of the new cannabis licensing process and undermining the immensely important equity goals of the new cannabis laws,” the president said. of Manhattan County, Mark Levine. “As this new legal industry emerges, we must ensure that the companies that do the right thing are in a position to succeed. I am grateful for Bragg’s leadership and thoughtful approach to this issue and we look forward to working with him and local stakeholders to ensure we hold illegal operators accountable.”