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New York’s $54 Million Pot Haul Shows Legal Weed Dreams Up In Smoke

For fresh proof that New York has completely botched its pot policies, look no further than the 11,000 pounds — you read that right — of weed and weed products seized from illegal shops in 2023, with a value of $54 million.


This is a direct result of the fact that weed has been legalized in the city and state, creating a massive open market for it — and driving a huge demand for illegal shops to cater to it .

Especially since the process for opening a legal one is complicated and molasses-slow, with competing bureaucratic fiefdoms and massive red tape.

With more delays because the state ignored its own law in awarding the first licenses.

Contrary to the law’s explicit instructions, Gov. Hochul’s Office of Cannabis Management handed the first licenses exclusively to the “justice involved” (i.e. ex-cons), prompting litigation that blocked all other applications for most of a year .

The result? 27 legal weed stores statewide, only 12 in the city.

That’s against an estimated 1,500 illegal shops in Gotham, a greater than 100-to-1 ratio.

Gee, who could have seen this total disaster coming?

Only every rational human being. The proliferation of illegal weed was predicted by opponents of the 2021 law legalizing the stuff.

Look, people buying pot don’t care if the guy selling it has the right paperwork .

Remember, for years these ganja goofs bought their wacky tobaccy from doormen, dormmates and failed actors working for sketchy bike-delivery services.

New York’s $54 Million Pot Haul Shows Legal Weed Dreams Up In SmokeSo the idea — bruited by Office of Cannabis Management honcho Chris Alexander — that the “the number one remedy for the problem of these illicit shops is getting more legal businesses open” is beyond moronic.

Especially given how much of a “clusterf–ck” the rollout’s been so far, in the memorable words of a city Community Board member charged with processing applications.

And the much-touted economic benefits to the Empire State from weed sales haven’t materialized either: A recent Independent Budget Office projection pegs the total tax take at $38 million a year after 2030 if current trends continue.

This is, thanks again, to the fact that illegal shops are going like gangbusters while legal ones are just barely getting started.

And the illegal trade is so profitable that having $54 million in product seized didn’t slow it.

Don’t forget the fact that these weed shops, which do huge cash business, have also become targets for gun-toting thugs — with pot-shop workers among the victims.

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