We’ve been in this limbo stage of marijuana legalization in New York ever since it was signed into law last year. The regulations, rules, and organizations have taken lots of time to come together, and because of that, many dispensaries have been able to exist between the lines of the legal code.
In New York City, it’s very easy to come across a truck selling marijuana out in the open, but with a twist. They clearly can’t just sell weed for cash without a license, so instead you can “donate” or buy a t-shirt, and marijuana comes with it.
However, the newly minted Cannabis Control Board has begun to crack down a bit. 52 cease-and-desist letters have been sent out to different unlicensed dispensaries in the city, ordering them to shut down business or damage their opportunity to receive a license when the market opens up in the winter.
Tremaine Wright, the chair of the Control Board, also released a statement on the cease-and-desist letters.
“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,” she states.
If they continue to sell marijuana after losing their ability to gain a license, the businesses risk large fines and even criminal penalties.
This is the second time letters have been sent out, with a batch of over two dozen going out in February of this year. This most recent batch is more than double the amount, showing how this problem for the Control board isn’t even close to going away, and is instead growing.
The next threshold to cross for the government is acting upon these cease-and-desist letters, and if they do, it will be fascinating to see how the public reacts to a seemingly contradictory move on a now legal substance.
Read the original article at Forbes.