ALBANY, N.Y. (WETM) — “Sticker Shops” and other unlicensed cannabis facilities might soon face penalties after Governor Hochul signed new legislation to curb the illicit sale of cannabis in New York State as part of the 2024 budget.
The new legislation will increase civil and tax penalties by empowering the Office of Cannabis Management and the Department of Taxation and Finance to curb the sale and/or gifting of cannabis from unlicensed storefronts and trucks across New York State.
This change to state law will allow the Office of Cannabis Management to assess civil penalties against unlicensed cannabis businesses that would undercut their efforts, with fines of up to $20,000 a day for the most egregious conduct. The legislation also makes it a crime to sell cannabis and cannabis products without a license.
According to the Governor’s Office, this legislation will allow for the OCM to conduct regulatory inspections of businesses selling cannabis and cannabis products, as well as businesses that sell and give away cannabis as gifts, known as “Sticker shops.”
As part of the legislation, the OCM will seize untested cannabis and cannabis products from unlicensed businesses and will seek court orders, closing orders, and removal of commercial tenants who are selling cannabis and cannabis products without the appropriate license.
“Unlicensed dispensaries violate our laws, put public health at risk, and undermine the legal cannabis market,” Governor Hochul said. “With these enforcement tools, we’re paving the way for safer products, reinvestment in communities that endured years of disproportionate enforcement, and greater opportunities for New Yorkers.”
To date, OCM has awarded 165 licenses with more to be awarded in May 2023 at the Cannabis Control Board meeting. There are currently eight successful dispensaries and one delivery operation in the state, with more dispensaries to open in the coming weeks and months.