As New York works to significantly expand the state’s regulated cannabis market, a new bill would empower individual municipal governments to shut down unlicensed cannabis businesses and seize their products.

The legislation from Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar (D) aims to address the proliferation of illegal operators that have emerged throughout the state amid the protracted rollout of New York’s legalization law.

Currently, state regulators with the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) hold enforcement authority to close unlicensed businesses. The newly filed Stop Marijuana Over-proliferation and Keep Empty Operators of Unlicensed Transactions (SMOKEOUT) Act would expand that authority to local governments by giving municipal officials the power to “order the immediate closure of any business” found to be illegally cannabis and to seize its merchandise.

“The lack of authority for municipalities to interdict unlawful retailers, combined with limited resources from the Board, has resulted in the proliferation of so-called ‘smoke shops’ openly selling illegal, unregulated cannabis and other contraband with near total impunity,” a justification memo attached to the bill says.

Read more at marijuanamoment.net