CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s something that’s confusing and has a lot of gray area on the surface.
It’s cannabis in New York State; Something that’s legal for recreational use, but has a lot of yellow tape when it comes to purchasing cannabis-related goods. The Roaring 420's Lounge in Cheektowaga made quite the splash when they first opened up, getting hundreds of memberships off the bat. That was why lounge CEO, John Averill, was surprised to see that local police took away his occupancy license.
"Shock, truthfully. It was my understanding that most of this stuff had already been resolved," Averill said.
The letter from the Town of Cheektowaga read this message:
"The Town of Cheektowaga has received new guidance from the NY Cannabis Control Board, and Office of Cannabis Management, indicating that your business is operating without a cannabis license, and is therefore operating illegally. By the order of the Supervising Code Enforcement Officer, your permits have been revoked."
7 News also reached out to the District Attorney's office for comment to see if their stance had changed from the sticker shop incident that happened in February. Here's what a spokesperson for the DA's office had to say:
"According to their (Office of Cannabis Management) office, the “gifting” of an amount of cannabis with the purchase of a non-cannabis item can result in a civil penalty."
So we reached out to the OCM. Someone in their office reiterated what was said by the DA's office. It doesn't matter how you get the money. If you get money that leads to people consuming cannabis, you are breaking the law.
Basically, if you pay for a service or product that leads to you smoking, eating, or consuming cannabis in anyway, it is illegal in New York State.
But that might not be for long. OCM said they hope that there will be dispensaries and regulations on lounges by the end of the year. They feel they are way ahead of schedule, which could lead to a boom in the New York cannabis industry by the end of 2022.