New York City’s Sheriff is on the hunt for “half-baked goods” — cannibis-laced snacks being illegally sold around town.
Sheriff Anthony Miranda, head of the Sheriff’s Department, said his officers have been raiding illegal and unlicensed stores selling cannabis baked into food and other edibles “as dangerous, unregulated sales.”
While regulated marijuana sales are permitted, Miranda told a Friday afternoon briefing at City Hall that the baked edible cannabis market is not regulated, allowing those who sell the illicit goods to add whatever ingredients they like, potentially endangering the consumers’ health.
Legal cannabis stores have opened up around the city due to new regulations established by the state legislature to regulate cannabis and tax the proceeds.
“While cannabis is legal in the city and state, there are dangers of unregulated sales – just like you are not allowed to open a restaurant without a license,” Miranda said. “These places must have licenses because they can attract crime – the sale generates tremendous cash and attracts wrong doers.”
Miranda said his officers conducted a special targeted enforcement recently, netting thousands of dollars worth of illicit baked cannabis goods. Since January, the Sheriff’s officers have seized $12 million dollars worth of goods with $4.5 million worth of seizures since July.
They also issued $22 million in civil penalties since the beginning of the year.
“The Department of Health has significant authority and is able to enforce civil penalties on the closed locations and our partnership will continue,” Miranda said. “When we hear complaints we will investigate and follow up to see where the money is going and do health inspections and make sure the products are removed and destroyed. We will protect the health and safety of our communities.”
“There are legal ways to acquire cannabis – but it must be legal and not sold to minors – but there is a legal way to participate,” he added.