Cannabis Being Sold at Sticker Stores Through Legal Loophole
New York became the 15th state to legalize cannabis back in 2021 when then-Governor Cuomo signed legislation to allow recreational use of the drug. His office predicted that legal weed sales would increase annual tax revenues up to $350 million a year and add 60,000 jobs to the state once the industry was at its fullest potential (Rich Mendez, CNBC). Now that it's been nearly two years, the first marijuana shop in upstate NY opened recently. Not everyone has been following the rules, however, and lawmakers are rushing to put a stop to it.
The Most Expensive Sticker You Ever Buy, but the Cheapest Cannabis You Ever Purchase:
Recently, illegitimate sticker stores are selling regular stickers at high prices and just throwing in the extra weed as a "gift". Sounds like a potheads dream, right? Maybe not since lawmakers are lobbying to tighten the rules surrounding the sale of marijuana, which would include adding civil and criminal penalties to a violator's charges (Greg Floyd, CBS 6 Albany).
The issue with these unregulated sales of cannabis is exactly that-- it's unregulated by the FDA, so you never know for sure what you're getting. These businesses are also neglecting to report the revenue on taxes, so the government is not happy about that (Greg Floyd, CBS 6 Albany). In 2022, the Office of Cannabis Management found that "gifting" marijuana was illegal under the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act and reportedly found over two dozen alleged violators in NYS. They sent the appropriate cease and desist orders, but some of them were straight up ignored. Deciding it was high time for these businesses to face the consequences, they conducted sudden raids in areas like Elmira, Owego, Watkins Glen, and Corning (Brandon Kyc, My Twin Tiers).
These illegal operations diminish the quality of life and risk the safety of the communities and neighborhoods where they operate. New York State is establishing a legal and appropriately regulated network of adult-use recreational marijuana dispensaries, with all the necessary safeguards. -State Senator Tom O’Mara, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, Assemblyman Chris Friend (Greg Floyd, CBS 6 Albany)