In a decisive series of inspections throughout November, New York cannabis regulators, comprising investigators from the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF), seized a substantial 812 pounds of flower, 701 pounds of edibles, and 61 pounds of concentrates. The targeted crackdown involved the examination of 71 shops suspected of engaging in unregulated cannabis sales.
According to the OCM, the total estimated value of the seized products in November barely reached $3 million. However, their efforts this year have led to the confiscation of over $54 million worth of illegal cannabis through investigations into unlicensed businesses.
Chris Alexander, the executive director of OCM, emphasized the regulators’ commitment to prioritizing safety by diligently shutting down illegal operators. He stated, “The number one remedy for the problem of these illicit shops is getting more legal businesses open.” Alexander highlighted the significance of providing New Yorkers with products from safe, trusted, and locally grown sources when entering legal dispensaries.
In November alone, OCM and DTF inspected 71 shops, including 13 re-inspections. Year-to-date, these agencies have conducted inspections at 350 locations, including 88 re-inspections, resulting in the seizure of more than 11,000 pounds of illicit cannabis.
New York imposes stringent fines for the illegal sale of cannabis, starting at $10,000 per day and escalating to $20,000 per day for what OCM described as “the most egregious conduct.” An additional $5,000 fine may be levied for the removal of paper orders affixed to shut down businesses. Inspected businesses are also subject to potential additional violations and penalties under state tax law.
As the crackdown intensifies, New York remains steadfast in its commitment to eliminating illicit cannabis operations, promoting public safety, and steering consumers toward legal and regulated options.