The New York City Illicit Cannabis Entrepreneur Ordered to Repay $400,000

**Subtitle: Crackdown on Illegal Marijuana Sales in New York City**

**Manhattan Entrepreneur Ordered to Pay over $400,000 in Taxes and Proceeds**

An entrepreneur based in New York City has been ordered to pay more than $400,000 in taxes and proceeds from illegal sales of marijuana after operating a network of twelve unlicensed cannabis shops across Manhattan. This action is part of a broader crackdown on the numerous unregulated businesses in the city.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office made the announcement on Tuesday, revealing that Rami Alzandani, the business owner, will not face litigation due to a non-prosecution agreement. However, he is no longer permitted to sell cannabis products, although he can keep his stores open.

**Increasing Number of Cannabis Licenses Issued by New York’s Office of Cannabis Management**

The Office of Cannabis Management in the state of New York has granted over 250 licenses to entrepreneurs for the establishment of legal cannabis storefronts. These licenses cover the sale of various cannabis products, including edibles, flowers, and vapes.

As part of the agreement, Alzandani is required to pay $103,000 as restitution to the state’s Department of Tax and Finance, in addition to forfeiting an extra $300,000 in illegal profits.

**Major Seizure of Illicit Cannabis Products and Limited Openings of Licensed Stores**

In a recent sweep of unlicensed stores in New York City, Ithaca, and Binghamton, Governor Kathy Hochul revealed the seizure of illicit cannabis products worth $11 million from 33 storefronts. This highlights the extent of the issue with unregulated businesses in the state.

Despite the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York two years ago, only a limited number of licensed stores have opened thus far. This has allowed illicit shops to continue thriving in the absence of regulated alternatives.

**Public Safety Concerns and Criminal Investigations**

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg expressed concern about public safety, emphasizing that the proliferation of unlicensed and unregulated cannabis storefronts poses a significant risk. These businesses have not undergone proper inspections, further compromising public safety.

The district attorney’s office is actively engaged in pursuing other criminal investigations related to illegal marijuana sales. Additionally, they are in discussions with landlords to ensure the eviction of shops violating state law.

**Subtitle: Conclusion: Striving for a Regulated Cannabis Market**

It is crucial to combat illegal marijuana sales and establish a regulated cannabis market in New York City. The recent enforcement actions against unlicensed operations send a clear message that such activities will not be tolerated.

By increasing the number of licenses granted by the Office of Cannabis Management and supporting licensed businesses, the state can create a safer environment for both entrepreneurs and consumers. The collaboration between law enforcement agencies and landlords to uphold state laws is essential in maintaining public safety and eliminating unregulated cannabis operations.

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