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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

New York Targets Landlords of Metropolis’s Unlicensed Weed Shops

(Bloomberg)—New York Metropolis is escalating its crackdown on unlawful marijuana shops, looking for to power landlords to evict the unlicensed outlets which have proliferated throughout the town as state-sanctioned weed retailers start working.

Manhattan District Legal professional Alvin Bragg stated Tuesday that he was placing the property homeowners of 400 unlicensed smoke outlets on discover: Evict any tenants which might be promoting unlawful hashish — or the state will do it for you.

“Now we have given them loads of time to wash up their act,” Mayor Eric Adams stated at an Higher West Aspect press convention Tuesday with Bragg and different elected officers. “We wish individuals to know you can’t simply open a store.”

Additionally on Tuesday, the town filed nuisance-abatement lawsuits in opposition to 4 shops that it says offered hashish merchandise to underage police informants — all a brief distance from the 2 authorized shops in Greenwich Village which have opened thus far. The newest actions symbolize a brand new part within the metropolis’s efforts to close down an estimated 1,400 unlawful hashish shops.

The proliferation of illicit operators poses a menace to New York state’s 2021 marijuana regulation, which seeks to license — and tax — adult-use hashish dispensaries. Preferences for licenses will go to individuals who have been impacted by previous marijuana enforcement.

A city-state job power has been conducting raids and investigations of the outlets and has issued 566 civil citations and seized $4.1 million price of unlawful merchandise.

Regardless of the duty power’s work, the smoke outlets have remained an issue for regulation enforcement and legislators who say that the shops are undeterred by raids.

Metropolis Council Member Gale Brewer, who represents the Higher West Aspect, stated interns from her workplace counted 61 unlawful outlets from West 54th Avenue to West 108th Avenue final 12 months. That’s up from solely six or seven the 12 months earlier than, she stated. One retailer raided by the New York Metropolis sheriff reopened the subsequent day.

Lawmakers and hashish attorneys have stated that concentrating on constructing homeowners could be a more practical method to eliminating the smoke outlets, which have proliferated for the reason that state legalized leisure adult-use marijuana with out implementing a authorized retail market quickly after.

So the town is bringing again a web page from its anti-drug efforts from the Nineteen Seventies and ’80s, stated Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “Unlicensed shops are making a lot cash that fines are a price of doing enterprise,” he stated. “This technique of taking their leases, that’s a complete different degree.”

Advocates for the authorized weed shops say there’s an urgency to close down the unlawful shops, however that the town ought to use civil treatments somewhat than legal ones.

“Hashish attorneys right here in NYC have been saying for some time now that this was the motion that wanted to be taken,” hashish lawyer Jeffrey Hoffman stated through electronic mail. “We wish no arrests, no convictions and no incarcerations. The suitable motion is to get the landlords to deal with the problem.”

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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