Licensed cannabis dispensary owners unite to push for local crackdown on unlicensed weed shops – QNS.com – QNS

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File photo by Lloyd Mitchell

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A coalition of legal and licensed cannabis dispensary owners have come together to urge New York State officials to take swift legislative action against unlicensed weed shops.

The dispensary owners have joined forces and penned a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul, State Sen. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie calling on them to pass legislation that would grant local authorities the power to shut down illegal shops, establish strict penalties for unlicensed cannabis sales, and implement more support for legal businesses through the form of education campaigns and faster product regulations.

The letter has been signed by 100 supporters and cannabis business owners, including Osbert Orduña, who opened the first legal dispensary in Middle Village last month.

Legitimate cannabis business owners argue that the slow rollout of legal cannabis storefronts and the continued appearance of smoke shops selling illegal products has created additional challenges to those tasked with opening a dispensary, the letter reads.

Furthermore, the coalition writes that the lack of enforcement power against illegal shops has created

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