Cannabis has been the most used illegal drug in America for decades. Even now that dozens of states have legalized either medical or recreational cannabis, the cannabis black market is still responsible for a majority of the country’s marijuana sales.
In California, which is home to the largest legal cannabis market in the world, licensed players in the market are struggling to get by, thanks to the state’s behemoth illicit cannabis industry. With more states looking to launch recreational cannabis markets in the near future, regulators are keen on reducing the influence of illicit sellers to give licensed retailers a better chance at success.
Combating the illicit cannabis market would also ensure states obtain millions of dollars in cannabis taxes and halt cash flows to the criminal enterprises behind the illegal market. Many states are trying. Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York announced that state regulators would begin clamping down on the 1,500 illicit cannabis shops in the state. The government announced measures such as seizures of illegal marijuana products, raids on illicit cannabis shops, and the launch of an interagency program to deal with the sale of untested cannabis products in illicit retail premises.
Speaking of the state’s recent legal recreational cannabis rollout, Hochul said that regulators would not stand idle while illegal operators sold untested cannabis products, particularly to minors. She said that the impending measures are meant to protect New York’s fledgling recreational marijuana industry and give citizens a shot at entering the industry and succeeding.
According to Hochul, officers from the Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) and the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) have already begun inspecting storefront businesses that aren’t licensed to sell marijuana in New York. Businesses that are found in violation of the state’s cannabis policies are receiving Notices of Violation and Orders to Cease Unlicensed Activity; the governor also promised to deliver similar action to other illicit businesses across the state.
Tremaine Wright, the chair of the Cannabis Control Board, said that “successful enforcement actions” against unlicensed trucks and storefronts selling marijuana in New York sends a solid message that the state is actively dealing with illegal sellers. She said the enforcement efforts are meant to ensure public safety and maintain the integrity of New York’s nascent recreational cannabis industry.
These efforts are designed to foster a “fair and regulated environment” that keeps consumers safe while supporting licensed businesses and protecting them from unfair competition.
As this clampdown weeds out illicit actors and leaves those who are licensed to operate in the cannabis industry, there is likely to be a bigger market for the products made by entities such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX), since growers will be encouraged by the sales they are making to expand their operations.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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