SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — While recreational marijuana use is legal for adults in New York, a retailer has to be licensed in order to sell it. Across the state a number of shops have being operating without one.

“If you’re operating illegally, you will be caught and you will be stopped,” said Governor Kathy Hochul.

Governor Hochul crediting three tools in new state laws that allow them to crack down:

  • There are higher fines, starting at 10 thousand dollars a day.
  • The state can also shut down the shop found to be in repeated violation.
  • This law makes it a crime to sell cannabis and cannabis products without a license.

Across New York, 31 businesses received violations.

“The value of the seized cannabis over a two week period is $9 million to $11 million,” Hochul explained.

The City of Syracuse experiencing similar challenges. Last year, a law was passed focused on enforcement.

“I think this will abate a lot of the problem, I think this will because we’re talking about points being put, closing up buildings, and civil fines there could be involved here too,” said Syracuse Common Councilor Patrick Hogan back in December of 2022.

Hochul said these efforts will also keep New Yorkers safe because unlicensed shops and products may not be tested for safety.

“They have been found to have toxic chemicals, E. coli and other ingredients that you just do not want to ingest,” Hochul added.

The enforcement will continue weekly throughout the state and the Office of Cannabis Management is recruiting more officers to help.

Legal stores have signage indicating they are licensed with a code you can scan to verify it is legal.