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December 27, 2022

Jason Klimek Featured in Syracuse.com Article on OCM Emergency Enforcement Rules

Jason Klimek, Cannabis Team co-leader, was quoted in the Syracuse.com article “Following Raids on Marijuana Shops, Some Question Emergency Enforcement Rules,” about the Office of Cannabis Management’s (OCM) emergency enforcement regulations, which were unanimously approved by the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) on November 21. The emergency regulations were immediately active and are effective for 90 days. During that same meeting, the CCB also approved the state’s first cannabis retail licenses. 

OCM is working with law enforcement to crack down on illicit cannabis sales through a number of activities, including seizing products, issuing cease and desist letters, and removing trucks used to sell illicit cannabis. Several shops allegedly selling illicit cannabis have been raided. It remains uncertain whether business owners who were raided are still eligible for cannabis business licenses. 

Jason notes that enforcing illicit cannabis sales is a key element of ensuring the state has a safe and legal cannabis market, which protects consumers in a variety of ways. “You would expect that the regulatory agency . . . would be able to come in, they would be able to investigate, and they would be able to enforce,” he said. 

However, even though Jason found the enforcement rules to be reasonable, he thinks there could be some red flags. Regarding the reasons for which OCM could take action against a licensed business, including “the financial management of the licensee,” Jason said, “It is concerning, because even out west we’re seeing now that a lot of these farms and licensees go out of business because the markets aren’t conducive to them continuing to operate.” He continued, “Could something look negligent, but was completely unintentional or maybe unknown to the farmer? Does that lay the groundwork for revocation?” 

Jason also noted that the CCB did not extensively discuss the emergency enforcement regulations despite discussing other topics thoroughly. 

It’s abundantly clear that OCM has its eye on businesses selling illicit cannabis. 

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