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Mayor Adams, Governor Hochul announce hundreds of Illicit cannabis and smoke shops shut down

NEWYORK: New York city Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that hundreds of illicit cannabis and smoke shops have been shut down in the city.

Addressing participants at the event, New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul said that New York state is rapidly building the most expansive, equitable cannabis market in the nation and one that uplifts Black and Brown New Yorkers who have been victimized by the war on drugs.

Governor said that state police has launched a Cannabis Enforcement Task Force, giving OCM the resources it needs.

“We’ve been striving to reach our goal of shutting down the majority of these illegal stores in 90 days. They’ve been at it about a month now,” Governor Hochul said.

“Over 187 inspections, seizing 3,200 pounds of cannabis products worth nearly $30 million. My friend, that is one month’s worth of effort, $30 million seized. Padlocked 114 unlicensed shops already. We’re going after the landlords, too,” Governor Hochul said.

Mayor Eric Adams said that NYC could not have done it without the governor as she was clear at the beginning of the session.

“We spoke on the phone, and we talked about it over and over again. We brought your team together, and we sat down and said, how can we pinpoint dealing with these illegal cannabis shops,”?

“Yes, the economic benefits are there. Yes, we’re allowing those legacy businesses to open. Yes, we’re seeing a quality, more tested product. There’s another narrative that many people are missing. I get those calls early in the morning. We were turning these illegal cannabis shops into magnets of criminality. We were seeing an increase in robberies, shootings. It was targeting our young people. These illegal shops were starting to really tear down the quality of life in our city,” Mayor Adams said.

“When we instituted Operation Padlock to Protect, we closed, shut down, 400 illegal smoke shops in just a few weeks, making a huge difference in our streetscape and improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers in record time,” he said.

“We’ve imposed more than $30 million in fines. Too long these shops have undermined the legitimate businesses as we see what you are accomplishing,” he said.

“I remember clearly what it did to Black and Brown communities and how it decimated so many and destroyed so many lives. I believe strongly that this is just one step. We need to go back and make people whole. We need to erase those credit reports that people and young people have terrible blemishes on their credit reports because of their incarceration. There are things that we must do to make people whole for the over-aggressiveness of our cannabis laws in the past,” Adams said.

“We’re moving in the right direction. We’re doing the right things. This is such an important initiative. Would not have been done if we didn’t have a very committed, dedicated group of lawmakers and a governor that was very clear from the beginning. We knew we could get this right. We went back and looked over again to make sure we got it right. We’re seeing the benefits on our streets every day.,” he added.


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