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As New York inches toward recreational sales, some vendors have decided not to wait for the green light. And that’s why the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) sent out more than fifty cease and desist letters last week to stores falsely advertising as licensed cannabis retailers. 

Among the illicit retailers who received letters were 420 Novelties in Elmira, Paint Puff ‘N’ Peace in Albany, The Ground Up in Waverly, and CannaGlam in Lackawanna. The letters warned that failure to cease operations puts the potential to obtain a legal license in the future at substantial risk. 

“You need a license to sell cannabis in New York. Licensed sales and a regulated market are the only way New York’s customers will be assured that the cannabis products they are purchasing have been tested and tracked from seed to sale. Sale of untested products put lives at risk,” said New York’s Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright in a press release. 

Though recreational cannabis sales are currently prohibited in New York, Native American tribes have had an early-mover advantage, with some already operating legal sales on sovereign land. 

The state is still in the process of sorting out licenses, with distribution expected in late summer or early fall. We don’t know exactly when retail will begin, but based on the anticipation that’s been steadily building, we’re excited to keep reporting once it does.

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