Mayor Eric Adams Crackdown on NYC's Illicit Cannabis Shops: Landlords Now at Risk of Major Fines

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NYC we are live at HQ broadcasting in the heart of the city that never sleeps. And let me tell ya, NYC might be bustling as always, but not everything's glitter and gold. Mayor Eric Adams is on a mission – one that's got both the streets and the suits talking. 

You remember the days when the only green you'd see in NYC was in Central Park? Now, with legalization, the NYC's supposed to be a green haven. But here's the twist: while many entrepreneurs have hustled hard to get their legit licenses, there's a wild underground scene brewing. The New York City Council dropped a bombshell on August 14th, revealing that NYC's alleyways and corners are home to a whopping 8,000 illegal, unlicensed smoke shops. Yup, you heard that right, EIGHT THOUSAND!

Now, don’t get it twisted – I'm all for people trying to make their bread. But these unlicensed spots? New York City Council members are saying they're not just undercutting our licensed business owners, they're also leaving big money on the table – money that could be going back to our communities. Imagine, every time you pick up from one of these places, that's 13% of the cut not heading into community reinvestment. 13% of billions – that's not just pocket change, and Eric Adams could see those bulging pockets from miles away.

Mayor Adams? He's stressed. I mean, his exact words: "We are losing our grip." That's pretty raw coming from the top. So, what's his game plan? Well, stay tuned, 'cause this is a story we'll be unraveling strand by strand. And trust, NYC's weed war ain’t done yet.

Over to you, team. Let's light this story up.

The community responds:

THANK YOU  to the mayor and gale brower for taking on this menace!  I am sick of these shops selling chips and chocolate candy bars that have been sitting there too long! @bingus1651
Key word takeaway UNTAXED. It’s all about the benjamins. @vladp411
So yall basically the legal cartel? @gatzzinnyaaareaa
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: we have never and will never legalize drug dealing / selling /business structure / distribution, agriculture ....  NADA nope never  !!! we legalized the RECREATIONAL USE OF MARIJUANA . we have never and will never legalize anyone other than CVS to pedal drugs @Melissa Pirozzo

From Shadows to Spotlight: The Evolution of Weed Sales and NYC's New Landlord Policy

Rewind the tape, and picture NYC's cannabis scene before all the regulations, licenses, and storefronts. It was a grassroots movement, quite literally. Dealers worked the grind from the comfort of their apartments, dating as far back as the 80s, and believe it or not, even today. Their goal? Simple. It's the dream of every entrepreneur: scaling up and expansion.

If you've got the ambition and drive, there's always a way to make things bigger. And for the cannabis hustlers, adaptation was key. We saw the market evolve, from discreet apartment deals to more organized systems. But, every step of the way, there's been a resilience and tenacity.

Now, in today's chapter of NYC's cannabis saga, Mayor Eric Adams is flipping the script. Instead of going after the vendors, he's shining a spotlight on the enablers – the landlords. The strategy? Introduction 1001-B. What it means is if you're a landlord and you "knowingly" (you catch that? pretty open-ended) lease your space to unlicensed sellers – whether they're dealing in illicit cannabis products, cigarettes, or e-cigs – you're in for a financial hit. The New York Sheriff's Office won't be playing around. A first-time slip will have landlords shelling out $5,000. And if they haven't learned their lesson? The next violation doubles the fine to $10,000.

In essence, the game's changing. It's not just about the sellers anymore; it's about the infrastructure that allows the trade. So as the city adapts to the new era of legal cannabis, the old ways are being put under the microscope.

Commercial retail cannabis shop in NYC

Mayor Eric Adams New Legal Playbook: A Game-Changer or Just Talk?

Now, for all my cannabis historians out there, NYC's current tango with the unlicensed market ain't the city's first dance. Remember that heavyweight bout that finally opened the doors to a legal cannabis market in NYC? Man, those were intense times. But this current showdown? It's just another round in the ring.

Eric Adams is throwing some serious punches with his new strategy. The real question on everyone's lips is: Will it land? Is this the blow that's finally gonna put the underground market on the ropes? Will these unlicensed spots raise the white flag, pack up their scales and grinders, and call it quits? Or, looking at it from a different angle, is this just the city's way to claw back some of that "untaxed" green – and I ain't talking about the herb.

Now, let's get into some math, shall we? If every single one of those 8,000 illicit shops got hit with a $10,000 fine, that's a whopping $80 million. Yeah, you heard right. That's a lot of moolah that could be funneled back into city projects, infrastructure, and community upliftment.

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Adams has indeed kicked off his crackdown, and those fines? They're looming large. However, history has shown us one thing: the cannabis market in NYC is resilient, adaptive, and incredibly resourceful. It's anyone's guess how this chapter will unfold.

For now, all we can do is watch, wait, and wonder. The green scene in NYC remains as vibrant and unpredictable as ever.

American cartoonist Brian "Box" Brown illustration on the legalization of the cannabis market @boxbrown

Most of us didn’t skip these first steps 🦍💯💚🏴☠️ @piratefarms
You can start a coffee roasting business in your garage/basement. Cannabis shouldn’t be any different. @pennyhartz

Stay Alert: More Insights on Changes to NYC's Cannabis Market Coming Soon

NYC's cannabis journey is still in its infancy. Like any budding industry – pun intended – there's a learning curve. On this rollercoaster, we've got those who are sticking to the script and playing by the rules, and others who are improvising their own scenes.

But here's the twist in our plot: the new strategy isn't just eyeing the main actors but those off to the side, seemingly out of the spotlight. The landlords, once just spectators on the sideline, find themselves thrust into the center stage. They might not be rolling the joints or handling the cash, but their real estate? It's becoming prime real estate in this drama.

And let's not forget our good guys, the CAURD licensees spread out across Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. These businesses did their homework, got their permits, and opened their doors to sell cannabis the right way. Yet, even with the rulebook in hand, legal hurdles can pop up, sending them into a tailspin of litigation and, in some cases, shuttered doors. A another separate legal battle the New York CAURD Coalition is coming to the forefront of.

It's a reminder that even when you're trying to play it straight in a nascent industry, curveballs are part of the game. The hope? As NYC's cannabis industry matures, the rules of engagement become clearer, and the entire ecosystem – from growers to sellers to landlords – can thrive harmoniously.

Until then, we'll keep our finger on the pulse, reporting the highs, the lows, and every puff in between. Stay lifted, NYC.

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