New York regulators raid unlicensed marijuana stores, enact new rules
In fresh efforts to clamp down on New York’s 1400 unlicensed cannabis operators, a new ‘multiagency enforcement effort’ has been launched.
So far the campaign, which is aimed at diverting cannabis sales away from the black market and towards the city’s burgeoning legal adult-use market, has seen seven stores issued with violations.
Each of the unlicensed sellers now faces fines of up to $10,000 every day, while the state’s tax and finance department is able to issue additional civil penalties to businesses which don’t pay applicable cannabis taxes, MJBiz Daily reports.
While the news comes just days after the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced the upcoming opening of new legal retail stores, only 13 retailers have been licensed since the December 2022 launch of recreational marijuana sales in New York, widely missing market expectations.
“These enforcement actions are critical steps to protect and help those individuals who were promised a shot to start a legal business and be successful,” Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul said last week.
Elizabeth Warren Wants Marijuana Laws That Block Amazon And Big Tobacco From Monopolizing The Legal Industry
Senator Elizabeth Warren has called for new measures to ensure ‘Big Tobacco, alcohol corporations and retail giants’ are not able to dominate the burgeoning US adult-use cannabis industry.
Speaking at an event via a prerecorded video on Saturday, Ms Warren highlighted the need to ‘ensure that the communities most harmed by the war on drugs are at the front of the line’ to reap the benefits of cannabis legalisation, according to Marijuana Moment.
She added that large corporations like Amazon had already begun lobbying for cannabis legalisation, stating that she was ‘deeply skeptical’ its efforts were anything other than a ‘self-interested move to monopolise yet another market, potentially blocking Black and Latino entrepreneurs from an emerging industry.’
Senator Ed Markey, who also spoke at the event, echoed her rhetoric, stating: “In developing cannabis policy, Congress must give a voice to the communities harmed by the war on drugs. … We’re in a new era of federal cannabis policy. But that doesn’t erase the harmful effects of decades of criminalisation.”
Legalisation in Canada Results in Fewer Incidents Between Youth and Cops
A new study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence in April, has found that Canada’s adult-use legalisation has led to a ‘significant reduction’ in police-reported cannabis related offences.
Researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto said that according to their findings, which examined police figures from January 2015 to December 2021, suggested there was ‘was no evidence of associations between cannabis legalisation and patterns of property or violent crimes.’
Following the implementation of the Cannabis Act in 2018, which effectively legalised cannabis for recreational purposes, the rate of ‘police reported cannabis-related offenses’ dropped by 62.1% and 51% for young females and males respectively, High Times reported.
“Results suggest that the impact of the Cannabis Act on reducing cannabis-related youth crimes is sustained, supporting the Act’s objectives to reduce cannabis-related criminalization among youth and associated effects on the Canadian criminal justice system,” the researchers wrote in their conclusion.