New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) intends to crack down on unlicensed cannabis stores, instituting fines of up to $10,000 per day, according to a report by Ganjapreneur.
The bill is expected to allow the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), the Department of Revenue and Finance, and local law enforcement to close down unlicensed cannabis establishments. It will also give them the power to enforce restrictions on storefront dispensaries while stopping local law enforcement from going after people who have cannabis for personal use.
With fines of up to $200,000, the proposed bill would have very serious financial effects on people who grow cannabis illegally.
According to Chris Alexander, Executive Director of OCM, “bad actors stocking their stores with things that are doubtful, unregulated, and perhaps dangerous” warrants such a penalty structure. Furthermore, the new measures seek to restructure illicit cannabis penalties by giving taxation department peace officers enforcement authority, creating a controllable, credible, and fair enforcement system, and setting out penalties for sellers who cheat on state cannabis taxes. Lastly, it sets up a way for cross-agency enforcement to work better by giving OCM the power to seize illegal items and define quick ways to shut down businesses that don’t have licenses.