The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and New York Governor Kathy Hochul have closed an unauthorized cannabis establishment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Despite orders to cease operations, the Big Chief Smoke Shop continued to sell unregulated cannabis products. This is the eighth store to go out of business this year.
The OCM and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) examined the Big Chief Smoke Shop. The store was examined twice, and over 600 pounds of untested cannabis and cannabis products were seized. The store violated New York’s cannabis regulations, which require all cannabis retailers to undergo testing, regulation, and licensure.
In addition to closing the store, Attorney General James and the OCM are suing the store owner and the building owner for penalties. The sanctions might be severe. The owner of the store is being held liable for permitting an illegal business to operate on their land.
Governor Hochul emphasized her commitment to upholding cannabis laws and guaranteeing the cannabis industry’s safety. Attorney General James also emphasized the health concerns of unauthorized cannabis retailers, as well as the importance of all cannabis businesses adhering to rules and regulations.
The OCM is working to close illegal cannabis enterprises across the state, led by Executive Director Chris Alexander. The OCM and DTF have performed several regulatory inspections, resulting in the seizure of substantial volumes of illegal cannabis. Alexander stated that they will continue to protect New York’s cannabis users’ public health by ensuring that all cannabis products supplied in the state are safe, tested, and appropriately regulated.