Kew Gardens is transforming into Weed Gardens – with another unlicensed cannabis store brazenly opening in the tidy Queens neighborhood.
The illicit marijuana store, called “Pre-Roll World,” kicked off its grand opening on Metropolitan Avenue two days ago to much buzz.
” I don’t understand. They are not licensed. The city is not doing anything about it,” said Kew Gardens community activist Sylvia Hack, a member of Community Board 9.
Hack said Community Board 9 will discuss the proliferation of these illicit cannabis stores, which have pushed along local commercial strips without fear of consequences.
Dominick Pistone, chairman of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, added: “At best they are taking the plunge. At worst, they are illegal.
“How are they allowed to operate? Why are they allowed to operate?
He said he would discuss the black market with the NYPD’s 102nd Precinct.
A Post reporter walked into the store on Sunday and bought a pack of STIIIZY edible “cannabis-infused gummies” for $30. The store only accepted cash.
The shop – adorned on the outside with hordes of colorful balloons and puffy gold letters saying “GRAND OPENING” – offered a cornucopia of cannabis pleasures. There were pre-rolled joints, a plethora of different levels of flowering marijuana, vapes, oils, and plenty of edibles.
Almost all of the products had a California label, claiming they were grown or manufactured in the Golden State.
Under New York’s “seed-to-sale” law, cannabis products sold here must be grown and manufactured in the Empire State.
Workers at the store claimed that the company that owns Pre-Roll World applied for a state license.
The state recently granted the first 36 licenses in New York to sell cannabis: 28 to retailers and 8 to nonprofit groups. None have yet opened, and their locations haven’t even been identified.
The Post recently purchased products from two other local, unlicensed cannabis stores in Kew Gardens: Triangle Dreams at 82-64 Austin St. and Lefferts Exotics at 81-27 Lefferts Blvd.
Critics say the rollout of New York’s cannabis program is turning into a bad trip.
A study published last week claimed that there are “probably tens of thousands of illicit cannabis businesses” currently operating in bodegas, smokehouses and other storefronts in New York – with pop-up shops selling bad or dangerously contaminated grass, a new study reveals.
Meanwhile, the Cannabis Social Equity Coalition said legal first-time sellers are not trained enough for the market and will face a mountain of debt.
In another bizarre twist to the legalized pot saga in New York, The Post on Sunday reported that three of the nonprofits granted by the state to legally sell weed ironically offer addiction services — or tax sobriety to the participants.
New York regulators have also come under fire after revelations surfaced that former NBA star Chris Webber, selected by the state to help raise $200 million in a a public-private partnership for the emerging legal weed industry, failed to raise funds.
The Office of Cannabis Management has defended the rollout of the program.
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