NEW YORK (PIX11) – If you’ve seen the video of several weed trucks recently confiscated by the NYPD, then you might be wondering why they aren’t allowed to operate, especially if weed is now legal in New York State.
The answer lies in a legal market for marijuana use and an illegal “gray market” for recreational marijauana sales.
Marijuana advocate attorney Jeffrey Hoffman says he’s disturbed by a growing amount of misinformation surrounding what is and isn’t allowed.
“Some of it’s very good, and some of it’s probably not very good. It is mostly from the state of California,” Hoffman said. “It is not legal. There is no entity other than medical retailers that are legally selling cannabis in the state of New York.”
Police seized those weed trucks because they did not possess a valid street vendor permit, not because they were selling cannabis.
But the Adams administration appears to be willing to use all of the tools at its disposal to crack down on these gray market businesses, as New York prepares to follow New Jersey’s lead by issuing actual licenses for legitimate recreational sales.
“Many people don’t read the complete law. All they read is ‘weed is legal,’ and they just kick into gear,” Adams said.
Bilal Muhammad, owner of the popular “Weed World” trucks and retail outlets, said he follows the rules. But Muhammad adds copy-cat entrepreneurs are copying his company’s look and branding, and then illegally selling real weed.
“We always have been known to sell hemp-based products. What I don’t like to see is us getting grouped with these new people who are actually selling cannabis. They’re unlicensed, of course, so that kind of affects Weed World’s ability to come into the legal market, Muhammad said.
New York State Sen. Liz Krueger, a longtime advocate of marijuana decriminalization, said the public needs to understand that just because a store or truck is selling real weed, it doesn’t mean it’s a good deal.
“You don’t know what that product is, whether it’s safe or not, what the THC level is, because it hasn’t been evaluated or approved. The people selling it are breaking th law,” Krueger said.