NYC Mayor to shut down unlicensed smoking, cannabis stores in all boroughs

NYC Mayor Eric Adams announced on Tuesday he will shut down unlicensed smoking and cannabis shops in all five boroughs. 

City officials launched "Operation Padlock to Protect", which allows law enforcement agencies to inspect and close any shops found unlawfully selling cannabis.

The initiative came after the state granted new powers to local authorities in the new state budget.

"Today, our administration is delivering on a promise to shut down unlicensed smoke and cannabis shops, protect our young people, and ensure that the future of legal cannabis burns bright in New York City," Mayor Adams said. 

The Adams administration made it clear that "any operator acting illegally will face swift consequences to protect the city’s children, improve quality of life, and facilitate a safe and thriving legal cannabis market", according to a press release.

"Thanks to Governor Kathy Hochul and our partners in the state Legislature, New York City is now using the full force of the law across every borough to padlock and protect our streets. Legal cannabis remains the right choice for our city, but to those who choose to break the law — we will shut you down," Adams said.

According to a press release, between last summer and last month, the city filed two lawsuits against a total of 15 e-cigarette distributors, as well as convenience stores that are the target of "Operation Padlock to Protect."

The Mayor's office said this new operation will accelerate in the coming weeks.