City Council addresses unlicensed smoke shops running in NYC

committee of the City Council held a hearing on two bills that are looking to protect the public from unlicensed realtors.

Valerie Ryan and Adolfo Carrion

Sep 6, 2023, 11:49 PM

Updated 310 days ago

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The City Council held a hearing on Wednesday to address the rising concerns of unlicensed smoke shops operating throughout the boroughs.  
Even with legal dispensaries now available in the Bronx, smoke shops are the go-to for many people’s cannabis needs. Marijuana purchased at a dispensary has to come from New York-licensed growers, while smoke shops often get their product from anywhere free of regulation.  
A committee of the City Council held a hearing on two bills that are looking to protect the public from unlicensed realtors. Council Member Julie Menin proposed the legislation, citing that lead, salmonella, E. coli, pesticides and other hazardous substances have been found in unlicensed cannabis retailers.  
Menin says the aim of one of the bills is to “create a public awareness campaign of the dangers of purchasing cannabis products” from illegal vendors. She says this campaign would include traditional and virtual information in multiple languages to inform people on how to purchase cannabis legally and safely.  
The second proposed bill would create a specific 311 complaint category for unlicensed retailers.  


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