BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Assemblymember Grace Lee joined the Sheriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force in inspecting several Lower East Side stores suspected of illegally selling pot.
Not so surprisingly — the suspicions tuned out to be true.
All locations visited during the action — 137 Rivington St., 79 Clinton St., 197 Madison St. and 89 E. Second St. — were found to be selling illegal cannabis and illegal tobacco products, Lee reported.
Confiscated, in total, from the shops were 2,306 pre-rolled marijuana joints, 248 THC vapes, 57 pounds of THC edibles and 14 pounds of weed — plus untaxed cigarettes, tobacco and flavored vape products.
The assemblymember and sheriff also disapprovingly noted some of the illegal pot products were packaged to resemble children’s snacks and candies to attract minors.
“The inspections we carried out today successfully removed a large quantity of unregulated cannabis and tobacco products from our community, protecting local residents, including the underage children these products are commonly designed to attract.” Lee said. “By taking action against these stores, we are sending a message that we are prepared to hold illegal cannabis vendors accountable to the law. These inspections are part of our ongoing work to protect New Yorkers and create room for a safe, legal, regulated cannabis industry. I thank the Sheriff’s Office for their work and I look forward to continuing our partnership to crack down on illegal cannabis stores. This upcoming [legislative] session, I aim to work with my colleagues in Albany to address cannabis enforcement issues across the state.”
Anthony Miranda, the New York City sheriff, said, “The Sheriff’s Office and our partner agencies will continue to conduct citywide inspections of unlicensed operations, seizing all illegal and unauthorized products. We want to thank Assemblymember Grace Lee for being proactive in her efforts to combat these illegal shops, as they continue to present a public health and safety problem for our communities.”
These inspections were prompted by efforts led by Assemblymember Lee to close illegal cannabis businesses, including a list of suspected illegal stores compiled by her office, a letter sent to the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, another sent to local landlords suspected of leasing to illegal cannabis stores and a press conference held this October with state Senator Brian Kavanagh.