New York legalized adult use recreational marijuana for cultivation, processing, and sale in New York when the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act was signed into law on March 31, 2021. And yet, legal weed is still not here yet, nor have any licenses been granted for those to begin selling cannabis legally. However, since the Act was signed, things have certainly changed on the streets of New York City.
In Manhattan, those selling illegal weed can be found hawking pre-rolled joints everywhere from Times Square to Washington Square Park. Marijuana can be purchased in smoke shops where the store workers can be seen rolling joints behind the register. It is also blatantly being sold out of trucks that roam the city streets and park in congested areas. Some of these trucks say “weed” on them while others are wrapped in similar marijuana images.
In February, cease and desist letters were sent by the Office of Cannabis Management to over two dozen businesses suspected of selling or gifting marijuana without a license. Now, last week, the NYPD confiscated 20 of these trucks. The Office of Cannabis Management, after having no luck with the cease and desist letters, have resorted to law enforcement officers and the use of force.
“There are definitely folks who decided to jump the gun here. We tried to educate them. We tried to warn them of the consequences and the opportunity they’re missing out on,” said Chris Alexander, the Executive Director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management “And now other organizations, other municipalities, other partners and government agencies are starting to take action. And that’s what we need to see at this point in time.”
It is unclear if the operators of these trucks have been arrested, and also what they would be charged with. For those looking for more information on the rules and regulations surrounding cannabis use and sale in New York State, contact one of the criminal defense lawyers at Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins.
Michael Jaccarino, and the criminal defense attorneys at Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, PC, have decades of experience.
For more information or more fact-specific discussions, call our office and ask to speak with attorney Michael Jaccarino.