The beginning of the end for illegal cannabis stores

Two neighborhood smoke shops have shuttered thanks to the city’s new enforcement efforts — made possible by the state granting regulatory authority to the city. One of the first to open on Church and Murray is now padlocked, and another just up the street south of Warren is now emptied. And it looks like the closures came with fines as well. Thanks to S. for the heads up and A. for the photos.

I guess all these stores were operating under what was a legal loophole — and the mayor has promised to shut them down one by one. It’s actually called “Operation Padlock to Protect” and already between May 4 and 11, the Sheriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force — made up of members from the Sheriff’s Office, the NYPD, and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection — sealed 75 locations across the city and issued nearly $6 million in penalties.

It seems pretty straightforward now that the emergency procedure is in place. The Department of Finance summons described the violation: “cannabis and cannabis marketed products were observed for sale without a valid retail license.” The maximum penalty is $25,000.

For us it’s two down, maybe a dozen to go?



  1. It’s a start.

  2. This is great news!!! Finally doing something about the illegal one’s. This is going to make it all the more difficult for our kids to get pot! I cant wait for the neighborhood to get our first legal shop. Supposedly one’s going to open on Hudson St not too far from the tunnel.

  3. I wonder if the store that was apparently looking to open in the old Chambers Wines space will give up now. I hope so.

    The other four that I can not wait is:
    Mr. Exotic on Church between Reade and Chambers which has the audacity to put benches for their drug addicts to prep their weed and smoke on that sidewalk.

    The weed shop on Chambers next to 16 Candles,
    The two on Church street opposite side of Mr. Exotica.

  5. Focusing on the legal vs. illegal shops is a waste of time, it changes nothing. Legalizing marijuana is very problematic to begin with. As a society it’s unthinkable to push the commercialization of a substance that can cause harm without sufficiently addressing the real impact on human behavior. As if it’s a long waited welcomed benigh magic pill that relieves all pains and enhances all pleasures, real and imagined. All for the sake of creating a new business.
    New York is now a urine soaked pot permeated third world city with no qualified people at the helm, what’s next?

    • To R: Are you exaggerating a wee bit when you say “as a society it’s unthinkable to push the commercialization of a substance that can cause harm without sufficiently addressing the real impact on human behavior.” How long has alcohol been “commercially” sold? How long have they been studying marijuana? Can you cite to credible scientific/medical studies that back up your statements?
      I don’t particularly like the odor either, nor do I think that it’s a good idea to have unlicensed shops selling unregulated product in unregulated doses, but I don’t buy your rationale.

  6. legal weed stores are a necessity like liquor stores. so get them open in the right places asap!!! stop bitching abou the fact it’s legal !

  7. Fret not, fellow tokers. These places will rise again. The $25/hour narcs are sure to be fired as the city and state bankrupt themselves through welfare programs for migrant families. Be patient.

    Nonetheless, sad to see New City Smoke closed. The dudes in there were so kind, and they had one of the best deals in the city for a log of 6mg Spearmint Zyn.