Using these new enforcement actions, enforcement officers from the Office of Cannabis Management and the Department of Taxation and Finance conduct inspections of storefront businesses and issue Notices of Violation and Orders to Cease Unlicensed Activity where appropriate, the state said.
OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander said, “This targeted operation is a significant step toward promoting a safe, transparent cannabis industry in New York State. With the strengthened penalties and unified enforcement measures in place, we are actively working toward our goal of a regulated market that fosters consumer trust and supports licensed operators.”
New York City has also been cracking down on illegal weed dispensaries, with Mayor Eric Adams vowing to stay on top of the issue and shutter the unlicensed storefronts.
In February, New York City Sheriff Anthony Miranda said illegal operations are being targeted by the Sheriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force and other enforcement efforts are underway in our borough and citywide. District Attorney Michael E. McMahon also is stepping up enforcement and advocating for stiffer penalties against offenders, according to a separate statement.
As a result of the legislation, the Department of Taxation and Finance can also conduct regulatory inspections of businesses selling marijuana to determine if appropriate taxes have been paid and issue penalties in cases where appropriate taxes have not been paid. The legislation also establishes a new tax fraud crime for businesses that knowingly fail to collect or cancel required cannabis taxes, or knowingly intend to sell any cannabis on which tax was required to be paid, but was not.
“Through the collaboration of our enforcement teams and law enforcement agencies, we will be able to take meaningful action against illegal cannabis operations that pose countless risks to our communities,” New York State Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander said.
This approach aims to promote a fair and regulated market environment, ensuring consumer protection and bolstering support for licensed marijuana businesses.