PD: Hudson Valley, New York Business Illegally Selling Weed
Police report finding around 100 pounds of pot and over 3,000 edible products illegally inside a Hudson Valley business.
On Monday, police announced an arrest was made at a Middletown smoke shop.
Middletown Police Seize Large Supply of Illegal Marijuana at Local Business
On Wednesday, at about 1 p.m., the City of Middletown Police Department was requested to assist Middletown Fire Inspector Theron Atkins with a fire inspection at 130 Wickham Avenue.
Inspector Adkins attempted to conduct a fire inspection at Splash Infused, a local business authorized for the sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products, but was denied entry into the location by an employee on-site, police say.
After police entered the building, officers allegedly found a quantity of vegetative marijuana and other marijuana-based products in plain view that were packaged and available for sale, in violation of established provisions set by the New York State Cannabis Control Board and Middletown City Code.
Officers then sought and obtained a search warrant from Middletown City Court, authorizing a more detailed search of the business.
More Marijuana Found After Search Warrant
After executing the search warrant, police seized a total of 95.6 pounds of vegetative marijuana, as well as more than 3,000 other edible marijuana-based products, marijuana vape cartridges, packaging materials, and associated paraphernalia, officials say.
An employee at the business, 31-year-old Kenneth Ortiz of the City of Middletown, was arrested and charged with criminal possession of cannabis in the first degree, a felony, obstructing government administration, resisting arrest, misdemeanor and trespass a violation.
He was booked, processed, and arraigned in Middletown City Court, where he was released on his own recognizance for a future court appearance.
Why Middletown Man Was Arrested For Weed
Police noted that weed is legal now in New York State, but only for businesses with a legal license. Police explained more about why Ortiz was arrested stating:
As many individuals are aware, cannabis is now legal in New York State for adults 21 and older, although legal adult-use sales have yet to be officially authorized. Under the new legislation, only the New York State Cannabis Control Board and the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) have the ability to license cultivators, processors, distributors, and dispensaries to grow, manufacture and sell adult-use cannabis and certain hemp (CBD) related products within the state. In July of 2021, the City of Middletown elected not to allow marihuana-based business sales and consumption sites within the city limits, taking advantage of an opt out clause built into the new marihuana legislation. This local legislation will continue to prohibit marihuana-based stores and consumption sites from operating within the city limits, even after adult-use sales are authorized in other areas of New York State, with an option to revisit the legislation at a later date.