NYC Mayor Adams swears not to be ‘rude’ on illicit weed sales: ‘Have fun, light up’

It’s a new green day for weed dealers in the Big Apple.

Mayor Adams vowed on Friday not to take a “brutal” approach to those who illegally sell marijuana in the city and gave New Yorkers his blessing to smoke more weed.

While New York legalized the recreational use of weed last year, the licensing system that’s supposed to regulate cannabis sales isn’t expected to start until late 2022 — and Adams said Friday afternoon he won’t. saw no need to crack down on anyone caught selling ganja outside stores or on the streets in the meantime.

“There needs to be a system that’s not brutal, but that explains to this store that ‘Look, you can’t do this,’ give them a warning,” Adams told reporters during an exhibit on the cannabis industry at the Javits Center in Manhattan.

Instead of fining or arresting weed peddlers, Adams said he wants the city to help direct them to the soon-to-be-launched legal market. He also noted that he set aside $5 million in his executive budget proposal to provide support to New Yorkers on recreational pot sales and grow license applications.

If someone refuses to stand in line after being slapped on the wrist for sprouting illicit weed, “some form” of enforcement may be warranted, Adams said.

“If they refuse to follow the rules, you have to come back and take enforcement action, like a summons, like, you know, talking about their ability to sell alcohol,” he said.

The Cannabis World Congress and Business event Adams attended brought together dozens of entrepreneurs who showcased marijuana products and held panel discussions on the economic potential of the cannabis industry.

In a speech at the expo, Adams joked that he was “a bit bummed” that there wasn’t “a good smell of weed” in the room and encouraged attendees to get high.

“Have fun, light up, but above all, spend some money. We want your money,” he said.

A man in the crowd reacted to Adams’ remark by saying he would come out for a joint. “The mayor told us we could do it!” the man joked.

When asked after the speech if he had ever smoked marijuana, Adams only laughed in response.

Since taking office, Adams praised legal cannabis as a potential cash cow for the city. In April, he floated the idea of ​​setting up marijuana greenhouses on top of NYCHA buildings and hiring residents to tend the crops.

Once the state licensing system is up and running, New York is expected to generate more than $1.25 billion in marijuana tax revenue over the next six years, according to Governor Hochul’s administration.

But as the state has worked to get licensing mechanisms off the ground, unlicensed weed-selling operations have sprung up at an increasing rate in the city this year. In and around Times Square, for example, there are usually half a dozen brightly colored trucks selling joints and edibles every day, and, with possession of marijuana now legal, the police are turning away in much of the open pot market, as recently reported by the Daily News.

Adams said work should be done to get illicit dealers into the legal recreational bud system.

“We need to incentivize those who have their illegal trucks or are driving trucks around to show them that this is a better way,” he said. “The goal is not to leave people behind.”