NY Gov Hochul's Latest Crackdown On Illicit Cannabis Operations Has The Big Apple In Its Crosshairs - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

New York authorities would be given expanded power to shut down illegal pot shops and levy fines of up to $200,000 under legislation proposed Wednesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is making yet another attempt to protect the stalled legal weed market.

The attempt is part of the push to get the state’s potentially billion-dollar adult legal market moving. So far only three legal shops have opened in New York City and two upstate NY.

“The continued existence of illegal dispensaries is unacceptable, and we need additional enforcement tools to protect New Yorkers from dangerous products and support our equity initiatives,” Hochul said in a statement. Hochul created a $200 million public-private fund in Jan. 2022 to support social equity applicants.

The bill would give the cannabis office expanded authority to seize illicit products and establish procedures for the government to shut down unlicensed businesses, of which there are thousands in New York City in the form of smoke shops and all manner of bodegas and convenience stores. New York legalized adult-use cannabis in March 2021.

What’s Taking So Long?

New York reserved its first round of retail licenses for nonprofits, applicants with marijuana convictions and their relatives in an effort to address inequities resulting from the racially biased war on drugs. The process itself, however, has been besieged with lawsuits and legal challenges from cannabis companies arguing that the process favors New York residents over out-of-state residents in violation of constitutional interstate commerce protections. 

Emily Paxhia, co-founder of Poseidon Investment Management, credits New York with good intentions on social equity but said the state was shortsighted about the need to set up enforcement early on against illegal shops.

Paxhia, who is a featured speaker at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference this coming April 11-12 in Miami Beach said she views NY’s legalization rollout so far as “a disaster,” but not a lost cause, reported AP.

“I’m still hopeful that the New York market turns around,” said Paxhia, who grew up in Buffalo.

Come and meet Emily Paxhia and many others who are making positive and essential changes in the cannabis industry at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on April 11-12. 

Other featured keynote speakers at the Benzinga event include Twitter executives Alexa Alianiello and Rohan Routroy who will discuss the role the social networking giant will play in the cannabis industry – a hot topic since Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Inc TSLA and Twitter TWTR made headlines last month by allowing cannabis advertising on the platform.  

Get your tickets HERE before prices go up. Book your room HERE.

Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.