By Hunter Dublin | June 20, 2022
While legal marijuana sales have not yet arrived in New York, anybody who has visited Times Square will know the ubiquitous Weed World Candies trucks dotting the sidewalks of the West Side. However, the numerous CBD sellers went up in flames on Tuesday when officials from the NYC Sheriff's office impounded 12 trucks for unpaid parking violations.
According to the sheriff's office, the trucks owed $316,000 in parking penalties and total debt of $504,000. They were removed from W38th, W45th, and W46th Streets in Hell's Kitchen between 10th and 12th Avenue.
"This has absolutely nothing to do with Cannabis. It just has to do with unpaid debt — judgment debt that has not been paid and is owing to the city of New York," NYC Deputy Sheriff Maureen Kokeas told NBC New York. "We corresponded with these people many, many, many times over many years attempting to collect this debt, and the debt was disregarded — so we went out and initiated enforcement action."
The Weed World trucks, which have become increasingly common around Times Square and the surrounding region in recent years, do not officially sell THC-containing items (though this may change as recreational sales come online in New York). The firm, founded in 1999, wants to campaign for "the legalizing and decriminalization of Cannabis and all its components" while also selling cannabis-themed items.
On the other hand, the trucks have generated a stir among residents due to their apparent permanent parking on public streets, a problem that Times Square Alliance President Tom Harris was keen to solve. "I'm informed they're going to start towing the scofflaws in May," Harris said during a public forum this spring.
Harris told W42ST that he had finally achieved his wish: "We appreciate the Adams administration for taking action on this matter - it is an excellent start." It is critical that the City of New York not accept the status quo regarding the street disturbance. These trucks collecting parking citations contribute to that chaos. Let us keep up the good effort."
The street parking fiasco was caused by contractors who never paid for their tickets. According to Weed World owner Bilal Muhammad in a statement to NBC New York, clarifying that they are not "trying to avoid paying penalties." Weed World brings in a lot of money for the city, so we'll ensure our obligations are fulfilled."
In an interview with NY 1, Mayor Eric Adams addressed the potential that Weed World trucks were already delivering THC goods. "We're not going to accept illegal sales," he stated. "We're still investigating how they're doing it in this vehicle, but clearly, we're not going to accept unlawful sales." The trucks might be falling well below the line, and we'll just have to keep an eye on them, but it's an issue."
However, some New Yorkers were more worried about another crime — false advertising. As stated by an anonymous Twitter user: "People on those trucks should be apprehended for selling fake THC edibles. They were just milking off tourists and other gullible types."