Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg warned the city’s illegal pot joints Tuesday that he’s ready to snuff them out with eviction notices.
The typically soft-on-crime lawman said his office sent more than 400 letters to illegal smoke shops Tuesday threatening them with the boot, saying he has the power to launch evictions under civil law.
The move comes less than a month after local Sheriff Anthony Miranda testified during a City Council hearing that an astounding 1,400 shops have popped up in the Big Apple illegally selling cannabis products.
A study by industry groups released at the end of last year said the problem was undoubtedly far worse.
There are “likely tens of thousands of illicit cannabis businesses” currently operating out of bodegas, smoke shops, and other storefronts in New York City, said the survey conducted by the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association, NJ Cannabis Trade Association, and Connecticut Medical Cannabis Council.
Making matters more worrisome, many of the illegal shops have been selling bad or dangerously tainted weed, the study found, after buying and testing cannabis goods from the illicit businesses.
The study said many of the items contained potentially deadly E. coli, salmonella, heavy metals, and pesticides.
In mid-January, there was just one legal weed shop open in the Big Apple, with a second on the way days later.
The proliferation of illegal shops was so bad in 2022 that Mayor Eric Adams had to create a cannabis task force — which included the sheriff’s office, NYPD, and city Department of Consumer Affairs — to crack down on them.