The New York City Council (the City Council) is taking matters into its own hands, passing legislation that will hold landlord’s liable for renting space to unlicensed cannabis dispensaries. Last week, on June 22, the City Council unanimously passed the legislation (47 to 0), with one abstention.
Here is City Council Member Lynn C. Schulman’s summary:
“This bill would prohibit knowingly leasing commercial premises to a tenant who uses the premises for the distribution or sale of illicit cannabis or tobacco products without a license. The first time that an illicit cannabis or unlicensed tobacco product seller is found to be operating in leased commercial premises any relevant city agency could issue a warning to the owner of the premises. If an unlicensed seller is later found to be operating in the same commercial premises, the owner would be liable for civil penalties. This bill would also require the city to submit to the Mayor and the Council a quarterly report on enforcement relating to illicit cannabis or unlicensed tobacco product sellers.”
New York City landlords can be fined $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for subsequent violations. These are serious financial penalties that are designed to and should