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New York City Mayor Says “Smoke Up” & Urges Reduced Penalties For Illegal Sales

Friday at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City Mayor Eric Adams attended the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo. Here Adams interacted with cannabis-enthusiasts. Mayor Eric Adams promised to New Yorkers that he will not take a heavy-handed approach to dealing with illicit sales of marijuana before it is legal to do so within the state.

Adams indicated that he did not see the need to crack down on anyone caught trafficking unregulated cannabis in the meantime.

“Enjoy yourselves, smoke up,” he says as he urges law enforcement to reduce penalties, while the state struggles to pass sales taxation and regulations for marijuana. The state of New York allowed recreational cannabis for adults on March 31, 2021, but has yet to establish a regulated recreational sales market. The first month legal cannabis sales for adults in the neighboring state of New Jersey raked in over $24 million.

Since the state has failed to develop a regulated sales market for more than a year since legalizing cannabis, Adams believes that a structure with minimal bureaucratic red tape is required. As New York City nears the opening of its legal sales market, Mayor Adams asks the justice system to embrace a broader perspective. Adams says that “a system without heavy-handedness is necessary.”

He did add, though, that individuals who “refuse to adhere with the rules” will be subject to some type of action. “If someone refuses to get in line after receiving a slap on the wrist for illicit weed pushing…then you have to come back and take some form of enforcement actions,” he says.

Adam also mentions that he has put aside $5 million in order to provide assistance to New Yorkers who are applying for licenses to sell and cultivate marijuana for recreational use.

The Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, stated in April that he believes the cannabis industry could be a tremendous benefit to New York’s economic recovery industry by creating new jobs, developing wealth in disadvantaged communities, and increasing state and municipal tax collections.

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