New York’s Illicit Cannabis Market Is Booming, But Do You Know Why?

By Terry Hacienda, The Fresh Toast on

Published in Cannabis Daily

State regulators have vehemently condemned the act. They specifically said that these sorts of transactions are classified as illegal under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). Yet, these unlawful practices continue to grow.

Quite a number of New York residents have tipped law enforcement about the scores of illegal operators growing and selling cannabis flowers and other derived products. The amount of anecdotal evidence to this effect continues to grow every week while the state takes passive steps to resolve it.

A concerned party, DiPisa, says that with each warning, more and several other new illicit outlets keep opening up. Some will replace closed-down stores, while a few will be extensions of existing stores. DiPisa added that their confidence is being bolstered by the inaction of the New York government to prosecute the guilty operators.

The new legacy operators are comfortable enough to pull off these illegal sales and/or cultivation because they see an opportunity faced with very little risk and high profit.

Even in broad daylight.

One of the MMJ operator’s workers disclosed that they observed a few of these black marker operatives advertising their products in broad daylight within and around Washington Square Park. The unnamed executive added that these people set up small tables in different locations in the park.

Despite the sensitive nature of the topic as well as the illegal status of these practices, the executive said that these black market sellers displayed the various prices of the products out in the open. On a table, they saw an eighth of an ounce of weed priced in the range of $30 to $40. Pre-rolls were priced at $15, while a 100 mg bag of cannabis gummies cost $30.

The executive said that the sellers were more than confident in their activity. Some of these people gave business cards to prospective customers who cared for home delivery.


The weed culture in Washington Square Park can be traced several decades back, so it might be a bit excusable if it was limited to this area alone. However, similar table stands and setups are now in discreet, unexpected places in the city.

Scott Mazza, founder of Vitality CBD commented that at least 10 of these setups have emerged upstate in Buffalo. According to Mazza, these storefronts appear all over; some even include signs above their stores.

Mazza, who is planning to be a part of the new recreational cannabis market, says it’s overly concerning that the illicit cannabis market is thriving in the different parts of the city where they’ve been set up. He says if this continues, dozens of prospective legal operators in the recreational market will find it much harder to succeed. Bottom Line It is one thing to declare something illegal under a section of the law, and it is another thing to ensure the law is enforced. The inaction of the New York cannabis regulators to implement the law is disappointing. With no one taking intense action to curb this activity, it would continue to get out of hand.

This article originally appeared on and has been reposted with permission.

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