New York cannabis regulators and law enforcement agencies said they shut down seven unlicensed marijuana stores in Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne counties on Monday.
An unlicensed retail chain called I’m Stuck was accused of selling marijuana without approval from the state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) as well as processing and packaging cannabis products without a license, The (Auburn) Citizen reported.
The stores were also accused by authorities of selling cannabis products to minors, according to a news release from New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
State officials allege David Tulley, who owns and operates eight unlicensed marijuana stores, has been selling cannabis without a license since at least early 2022, before the OCM began issuing permits.
Investigations involving six of the stores revealed:
- The outlets in April advertised an Easter egg hunt in several counties where eggs were scattered around public places and could be redeemed for prizes, including cannabis products and children’s toys.
- A Facebook page offered hints that Easter eggs could be found at playgrounds, trails and churches.
- An investigator from the AG office collected Easter eggs and then redeemed marijuana flower, edibles, cannabis seeds and other products at a store in Macedon.
- In June and early July, inspections resulted in the seizure of more than 47 pounds of cannabis flower, 244 pounds of cannabis edibles, and 89 pounds of cannabis concentrate.
Tully defied cease-and-desist orders and violation notices since at least early 2022, according to the release.
He also described his business to regulators as a consultancy that provided free cannabis products to customers.
A petition by the state seeks to immediately shut down Tulley’s stores and stop his companies from distributing, delivering and dispensing marijuana products in New York.
Under newly adopted laws in New York, the state can impose a $10,000 penalty for each day of illegal cannabis sales and a $20,000 fine per day to those selling cannabis after receiving an OCM order to cease operations.
In addition, the state’s petition seeks civil penalties from seven building owners who leased space to Tulley for permitting an unlawful business to operate on their properties.
Under state law, building owners can be fined $10,000 per day for such violations.
The investigations also included the Department of Taxation and Finance as well as the New York State Police.