NYC Mayor Announces 75 Illegal Smoke and Cannabis Shops Ordered Closed


Our Bureau
New York, NY

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the results of week one of “Operation Padlock to Protect” — a sustained multi-agency enforcement action to shut down illegal smoke and cannabis shops across the five boroughs. In the first week of enforcement, the New York City Sherriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force — made up of members from the Sheriff’s Office, the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) — sealed 75 locations and issued nearly $6 million in penalties. The Sherriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force conducted operations on May 4, 7, 9, and 11.  

“Week one of ‘Operation Padlock to Protect,’ reaffirms what we’ve long said: With the backing of legal authority behind us, our administration will act swiftly to combat illegal cannabis and smoke shop operators,” said Mayor Adams. “For too long, illegal operators have posed a threat to our children, our public safety, and our quality of life, and they have undermined those justice-involved, legal businesses that are trying to succeed. With this coordinated and sustained multi-agency enforcement, we will help usher in a thriving, safe, and just legal cannabis market that our city deserves while protecting our city’s children, families, and vibrant business districts from being subjected to these brazen storefronts.”

Following Mayor Adams’ successful advocacy in Albany for municipalities to be given the regulatory authority by the state to finally shut down illegal shops plaguing city streets, New York City moved quickly to execute its legal authority and will accelerate that execution in the coming weeks. The Sherriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force systematically conducts joint operations in neighborhoods across the five boroughs, which includes inspections and follow-up inspections. When operators are ordered to be sealed, local NYPD precincts monitor those locations to ensure compliance and alert the Sheriff’s Office when violations of the seal order occur. The NYPD can also make arrests for violating the sheriff’s closure orders. ‘Operation Padlock to Protect’ is an example of the Adams administration’s efforts to double down on its commitment to swiftly shut down illegal operators, protect the city’s children, improve quality of life, and facilitate a safe and thriving legal cannabis market.

In its first week of operations, the Sherriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force conducted 150 inspections of unlicensed locations in the vicinity of schools or houses of worship allegedly selling cannabis, THC edibles, THC vape, untaxed cigarettes, flavored tobacco, flavored vapes, or other tobacco products in the confines of the NYPD’s eight borough commands.

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