New York State isn't playing when it comes to cracking down on illegal cannabis sellers. While adult use is legal for anyone 21 years or older, the state wants its share of the green, literally. Legal storefronts have not opened yet for adult use, but that hasn't stopped enterprising people from setting up shop.

The Office of Cannabis Management recently identified fifty-two illicit cannabis stores in the state. Each of the vendors was sent cease and desist letters, requiring that they stop selling marijuana without a proper dispensary license.

These stores falsely depict their operations as legal cannabis dispensaries, but they are not licensed by New York State and are selling untested products that put public health at risk.

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The state says that these stores are putting the public at risk. While that could be true, let's keep it real, people have sold marijuana illegally for decades. The biggest difference now is the state's ability to collect tax revenue on cannabis. Tremaine Wright, Chair of New York’s Cannabis Control Board said,

There are no businesses currently licensed to sell adult-use cannabis in New York State. Selling any item or taking a donation, and then 'gifting' a customer a bag of untested cannabis does indeed count as a sale under New York’s Cannabis Law. You need a license to sell cannabis in New York. Licensed sales and a regulated market are the only way New York’s customers will be assured that the cannabis products they are purchasing have been tested and tracked from seed to sale. Sale of untested products put lives at risk. I implore these illegal store operators, and any other stores pretending to be legal operations, to stop selling cannabis products immediately.

Only dispensaries that are licensed to distribute medical marijuana are legally operating.

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