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New York City Police Crack Down on Weed Trucks in Times Square

In the latest crackdown on weed trucks, police raided more than a dozen marijuana truck in New York City’s Times Square. Some locals believe there are other serious crimes that need to be addressed by police.

It is the backlash in response to what locals are calling an “open-air drug market” caused by unlicensed weed sellers in trucks. Since licensing has yet to be made available, none of these trucks are allowed to operate. Retail licenses, however, will become available after one week.

New York Police Department (NYPD), is tired of the influx of illegal marijuana trucks that are easily accessible on New York City’s streets. Locals are unanimous in their agreement.

New York Daily News reports that one of the most prolific truck chains, “Weed World,” which sold mostly edibles, was forced to pay over $200,000 in parking fines and about a dozen of the chain’s trucks were cleared off the streets.

“If you are looking to buy illegal cannabis from the Weed World Bus located on 5th Avenue & 40th street it is no longer open for business,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey tweeted about the seizures. “We do not anticipate it opening for business anytime soon!”

Tom Harris is the president and CEO of Times Square Alliance. He stated that there are approximately six weed trucks in direct proximity to Times Square every day. However, Twitter responses were not unanimous.

Weed World said on August 15 that it paid $200,000 of the $500,000 in owed parking fines, and had worked out an installment plan with the city’s Department of Finance. Twelve Weed World trucks were taken away by law enforcement last June. They refused to let them go until all fines had been paid. Weed World also operated a brick-and-mortar store nearby, just up Seventh Ave, and plans on getting a permit once they become available after gaining the attention of New York’s Cannabis Control Board.

The NYPD released footage from 19 cars that were seized on city streets in the most recent sweep. They are being accused of selling marijuana products without permits.

The NYPD and other officials aren’t only going after weed trucks. State officials recently slapped 17 storefront cannabis operations (and trucks) with cease and desist letters for allegedly selling cannabis without a license, including Weed World on Seventh Ave. “There are no businesses currently licensed to sell adult-use cannabis in New York State, “Tremaine Wright, chair of New York’s Cannabis Control Board, said in a statement.

New York’s Office of Cannabis Management said that they will start accepting applications for retail cannabis licenses in August. After the online portal is opened, license applications will continue to be accepted for one month.

To Fry Bigger Fish

To be fair—cannabis isn’t Times Square’s only problem, and weed trucks might be the least of their problems. Last year, police shut down a “24-hour open air bazaar” that sold crack cocaine. The business was open for 2 years without anybody being bothered. In that instance, a crew worked “round-the-clock shifts” at 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue, according to the NYPD and federal authorities.

It was available 24/7, and it launched December 2019. This is perhaps the best place in America where you can get away with this for that length of time. Police called it “Operation Ghostbuster.”

Also, the city will be focusing its efforts on injection safety sites that have personnel who can supervise. These are the New York Times reports that on the first day of operation of one site—crew members were able to reverse two overdoses.

In the meantime, New York City Mayor told New Yorkers to “light up”—that is, until licensing begins and the market matures.