Crackdown on Unlicensed Cannabis Dispensaries Leaves 3,000 Storefronts Vacant in NYC

The New York City retail market is facing a big change as illegal smoke shops across the city are being padlocked by law enforcement. 

This crackdown comes after the implementation of new regulations passed by lawmakers in Albany this spring, granting the New York City Sheriff’s Office and New York City Police Department the authority to shut down unlicensed cannabis dispensaries.

One notable example is Roll Up Nation, an unlicensed dispensary that abruptly vanished from its NoHo location last month, leaving behind an expensive sound system, rolling papers, and a large epoxy mural.  

In just four weeks, officers have sealed off 311 stores, prompting many more cannabis retailers to voluntarily close their doors. The closure of illegal smoke shops has left landlords with approximately 3,000 vacant storefronts across the city. 

Landlords, who once benefited from the generous rent paid by these unlicensed dispensaries, are now left with approximately 3,000 vacant storefronts across the city. It has, however, also presented opportunities for brokerage firms like Meridian, which has received numerous calls from landlords seeking to lease out their newly vacant spaces. 

The retail market’s recovery after the pandemic has been remarkable, with leasing velocity in Manhattan’s prime retail corridors climbing back to pre-pandemic levels, according to CBRE (NYSE: CBRE).


Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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