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State fines Auburn dispensary owner $15M, he responds that he's running for governor

Cannabis business I'm Stuck had leased the billboard above its former downtown Auburn location on East Genesee Street, which was later shut down by the New York State Office of Cannabis Management.

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The owner of a chain of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries that included locations in Auburn and Aurelius has been fined $15.2 million by the state, Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday.

David Tulley, who operated I'm Stuck at 9 E. Genesee St. in Auburn and the Weed Warehouse at 2020 Crane Brook Drive in Aurelius, has been ordered to pay $7 million in disgorgement — profits he made from unlicensed sales of cannabis, including some to underage customers — and $8.2 million in penalties for operating the dispensaries while ignoring cease-and-desist notices from the state.

“David Tulley illegally sold cannabis in multiple stores across upstate and central New York and sold unregulated products to underage customers,” James said. “These illegal and unlicensed stores are budding up throughout the state and are hurting our communities. Today, David Tulley is paying the $15 million price for his repeated illegal activity and will be permanently banned from the cannabis industry in New York. This punishment should serve as a clear warning for all unlicensed cannabis stores in the state: We will enforce the law and shut down your operations.”

Tulley was fined $10,000 a day for 389 days of unlicensed cannabis sales, and $20,000 a day for 217 days of unlicensed sales after receiving a notice from the state Office of Cannabis Management. The $7 million in disgorgement represents 90% of his profits from unlicensed cannabis sales between Feb. 11, 2022, and May 2, 2023, the office said. He also faces a $5,000 penalty for removing a violation notice from his location in the town of Lyons, and must cover $1,324.98 in costs incurred by the state attorney general's office.

Along with his locations in Auburn and Aurelius, Tulley operated six additional I'm Stuck locations in Wayne, Oswego and Monroe counties. The Auburn and Aurelius locations — which respectively opened in January 2023 and sometime the previous year — were raided by authorities in June 2023 and padlocked in August.

The former location of cannabis business I'm Stuck on East Genesee Street in Auburn.

Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen

The state's action followed visits by undercover investigators attempting to purchase cannabis at Tulley's businesses. According to court records obtained by The Citizen, investigator Andrea Buttenschon and an underage person posing as her daughter visited the Cayuga County locations of I'm Stuck on May 31, 2023. The "daughter" asked for products and told employees she did not have identification, but products were sold to Buttenschon anyway, she said. One employee noted they're supposed to check identification but said nothing further, and another told the "daughter," "You're alright." 

Tulley told The Citizen Thursday he will appeal the fine. He also said he plans to run for governor and, if elected, would create transitional cannabis licenses for "gray market" businesses like his.

Tulley claimed I'm Stuck sold "consultations," technically making its products gifts. Its locations were the first gray market dispensaries shut down by the state as it launches its legal cannabis market.

New York state's enforcement action against the I'm Stuck chain of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries, which included two locations in Cayuga Co…

Executive Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or



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