NYS Office of Cannabis Management takes action against businesses suspected of illegally selling cannabis

Posted at 1:43 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 13:43:04-05

NEW YORK (WKBW) — The New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced it has taken action against businesses suspected of illegally selling cannabis.

According to the OCM, letters were sent "ordering businesses suspected of illegally selling cannabis, including the practice of 'gifting,' to cease and desist those operations or risk the opportunity to get a license in the legal market as well as substantial fines and possible criminal penalties. The letters explain that while cannabis has been legalized for those aged 21 and over, selling it requires a license under the law."

The OCM explains the practice of "gifting" as a business selling a product or service and providing cannabis as a “gift” in return. Under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) this practice is illegal and the OCM says it has identified over two dozen alleged violators.

We have an obligation to protect New Yorkers from known risks and to strengthen the foundation of the legal, regulated market we are building. We will meet the goals of the MRTA to build an inclusive, equitable and safe industry. Therefore, these violators must stop their activity immediately, or face the consequences.
- Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright
We want to make sure these operators fully understand the law and the consequences they face and now that these letters have been sent, we fully expect them to cease and desist their activities – if they don’t, we will take action. New York State is building a legal, regulated cannabis market that will ensure products are tested and safe for consumers while providing opportunities for those from communities most impacted by the over criminalization of the cannabis prohibition, and illegal operations undermine our ability to do that. We encourage New Yorkers to not partake in illicit sales where products may not be safe and we will continue to work to ensure that New Yorkers have a pathway to sell legally in the new industry.
- OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander

The OCM oversees and develops and enforces rules for the three prongs of the industry oversees – the Medical Cannabis Program, the Cannabinoid Hemp Program, and the Ault-use Cannabis Program.

You can find a sample letter here.