The city of Jamestown shut down illegal cannabis dispensaries, located at 214 Fairmount Ave., and 29 North Main St., on Friday.
A news release from the mayor’s office said the businesses had not yet received licenses to sell cannabis from the state Office of Cannabis Management. The businesses did not comply with a cease-and-desist order from the Jamestown Department of Development when a complaint that the businesses were selling cannabis was filed two weeks ago.
“I fully support legal cannabis and the potential for legal dispensaries in Jamestown,” said Mayor Eddie Sundquist in a statement. “However, these businesses must comply with the law and have a license from the proper authorities. The illegal selling of a highly-regulated drug out of a storefront is completely unacceptable. Under my administration, we will enforce the law and shut down any business that is selling cannabis illegally.”
Friday’s action was the first reported issue in the city, but the issue of businesses selling marijuana products without a state license has been festering across the state since shortly after the state Legislature approved legalized marijuana sales.
As of mid-July, the state Office of Cannabis Management had issued stern warnings directing 52 stores sprinkled across the state to immediately halt sales of such products. Businesses selling marijuana products without a license could be barred from receiving a state-backed marijuana sales license in the future while the business owners could also face fines and criminal penalties.
The July action followed a similar spate of letters sent in February to more than two dozen enterprises it suspected of illegally selling marijuana, telling them to stop or face fines, potential criminal charges and risk to their prospects of getting a license once they are available. Before that, the office had warned that promotional gifts of marijuana or cannabis were illegal, though that didn’t stop many shops using such enticements.
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, R-Corning, has introduced legislation in the state Legislature (A.9815) that would wants to change the state Penal Law to say that anyone employed by or operating a business, store, club or facility who sells, transfers, gifts or trades cannabis without the appropriate licenses, with the severity of the charge varying depending on the amount of cannabis involved. Palmesano’s legislation was referred to the Codes Committee on April 19 and hasn’t moved since.