NYC expands crackdown on illegal cannabis shops

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced that he is teaming up with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to take on the spread of illegal, unlicensed cannabis dispensaries across the city.

"Legalizing cannabis was a major step forward for equity and justice — but we’re not going to take two steps back by letting illegal smoke shops take over this emerging market," said Mayor Adams in a statement. "Today, we are proud to announce we are taking direct action against four unlicensed smoke shops in the Ninth Precinct, which will complement our efforts with District Attorney Bragg to hold these illegal businesses accountable."

RELATED: Raids target illegal cannabis sales on Staten Island

On Tuesday, the NYPD filed complaints against four unlicensed establishments in the East Village that they allege are selling cannabis products to underage individuals and operating without a license.

Additionally, the DA's office mailed letters to each of the more than 400 known smoke shops in Manhattan, warning them of the potential for eviction proceedings. 

The DA's office would use its civil authority under a law known as the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law which would require landlords to evict tenants who are engaged in illegal trade or business.

"For nearly two years, we’ve seen a proliferation of storefronts across Manhattan selling unlicensed, unregulated, and untaxed cannabis products. It’s time for the operation of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries to end," said District Attorney Bragg.

RELATED: NYPD: 1,300 illegal marijuana stores in NYC

New York City law enforcement has already been cracking down on illegal smoke shops, with the Sheriff's Office raiding eight locations on Staten Island last week. 

According to the NYPD, more than 1,300 illegal marijuana stores are selling pot without a license in New York City.