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Mayor Adams Calls For Crackdown On Illegal Cannabis Shops

ByHazey Taughtme onFebruary 22, 2023

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Last June, Mayor Eric Adams gave New Yorkers a shock when he gave his blessing to smoke more pot. “Enjoy yourself, light up, but most importantly, spend some money. We want your money,” he said during a speech at the Cannabis World Congress and Business event.

Adams said that he doesn’t see a need for cracking down on anyone caught dealing ganja out of stores or on the street in the interim.

“There needs to be a system of not heavy-handedness, but going in and explaining to that store that, ‘Listen, you can’t do this,’ give them a warning,” Adams told reporters while attending a cannabis industry expo at the Javits Center in Manhattan.

However, fast forward to the present day, and Mayor Adams is now calling for stronger laws to crack down on the growing number of illegal marijuana shops that have cropped up around New York City. The Mayor’s call comes in the wake of increasing violence at these illegal shops, with a murder at a Harlem smoke shop over the weekend being just the latest in a string of violent incidents.

TARGETING CHILDREN WITH CANNABIS PRODUCTS One of the major issues that Mayor Adams has raised is how illegal cannabis products are being marketed and advertised to children. According to the Mayor, these illegal shops are not only selling illegal cannabis, but they are also targeting young people by opening up near schools and selling cannabis-laced gummy bears and other edibles.

“We’re about up to 1,500 illegal cannabis shops, and it’s not only that they’re selling illegal cannabis, but they’re targeting young people, they’re open near schools,” Adams said. “These children are waking up in the morning, going into the store, getting gummy bears that are laced with marijuana, and then they are going to school and learn?”

CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL CANNABIS SHOPS To combat the growing menace of illegal marijuana shops, the New York City Sheriff’s Office has spearheaded a series of raids across the city, which have led to the closure of more than 100 illegal shops. However, Mayor Adams believes that more needs to be done to ensure that these shops do not continue to operate with impunity.

“We need to be targeting those landlords that knowingly are renting the space,” Adams said. “So we are going to be putting a package together just to deal with cannabis, so this does not get out of hand.”

Mayor Adams has also called for stiffer penalties to be imposed on illegal cannabis dealers and the landlords who rent them the space. He believes that the state’s lax laws have made it easier for these illegal dealers to sell their products without fear of prosecution.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE RAIDS ILLEGAL CANNABIS SHOPS The New York City Sheriff’s Office, which has been leading the charge in cracking down on illegal cannabis shops, has found numerous hidden compartments, fake food and drink containers, and other tricks being used to hide illegal drugs being sold in these shops.

In a recent operation, the Sheriff’s Office hit eight locations on Staten Island and confiscated countless bags of contraband. Officials issued both civil and criminal summonses, and officers found secret compartments hiding illegal cannabis and tobacco products.

Mayor Adams hopes that the crackdown on illegal cannabis shops will send a message to other dealers that the city will not tolerate the targeting of children and the selling of illegal drugs. With his proposed package of laws, Mayor Adams is determined to ensure that the legacy market in New York City does not continue to thrive and endanger the lives of young people.


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