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Police and sheriff padlock three scofflaw pot shops in Greenwich Village

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Following hot on the heels of the mayor’s announcement of Operation Padlock to Protect, police shuttered three illegal weed and smoke shops in Greenwich Village last Saturday.

Mayor Adams recently touted the new enforcement effort, thanking Governor Hochul and the state Legislature for finally giving the city new enforcement powers and legal authority to close down the unlicensed stores.

The businesses caught in the sting include 6th Ave. Vape & Grocery, at Sixth Avenue and 12th Street; Sunflower Glass Company, at 220 Thompson St., and Village Vibez, at 234 Thompson St., both between W. Third and Bleecker Streets.

Captain Jason Zeikel of the Village’s 6th Precinct tweeted of the triple takedown: “Going up in smoke? Great job by Manhattan South CRT and the Sheriff’s office padlocking three shops that were illegally selling cannabis. 👉More closures to come. If you are interested in purchasing cannabis products do so from a state licensed shop.”

Zeikel is bullish on the new enforcement effort and feels it will be very effective.

“We look forward to padlocking more illegal smoke shops in the near future,” he told The Village Sun.

Basically, members of the New York Police Department’s Community Response Team (C.R.T.) — recognizable by their khaki pants — have been “deputized” to work with the sorely undermanned Sheriff’s Office to shut down the unlicensed weed places.

Citywide around 70 of the scofflaw cannabis outlets were padlocked just last week. Although there currently are an estimated 2,000 unlicensed reefer retailers in the city, at a rate of closing 70 of them per week, they all could be snuffed out within a year.

Members of the Sheriff’s Office and the N.Y.P.D.’s Community Response Team listened as Mayor Adams on May 7 announced the new Operation Padlock to Protect. (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

Yet, the operators still do have the right to go before the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) court to contest the action and argue their case.

Mayor Adams, Captain Zeikel and others have repeatedly said that while state-licensed, state-taxed dispensaries offer safe products, one never really can be sure of product safety at unlicensed smoke shops.

One Comment

  1. Mary Oconnor Mary Oconnor May 16, 2024

    They have a lot more to go in this neighborhood.

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