New York attorney general obtains $15 million verdict against cannabis dispensary chain

 May 25, 2024

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) just obtained a $15.2 million judgment against cannabis dispensaries. 

Newsweek reports that New York Supreme Court Judge Richard Healy ruled in James' favor on Thursday.

The $15.2 million judgment, according to the outlet, is "the largest penalty to date against an unlicensed cannabis retail business."

This is the same James who has obtained a more than $350 million judgment against former President Donald Trump in a civil fraud case that most legal experts have said is bogus.

$15.2 million in fines

The owner of the unlicensed cannabis dispensaries is David Tulley.

Newsweek reports, "David Tulley, owner of the unlicensed dispensary chain 'I'm Stuck' and 'Weed Warehouse,' operated stores without a license in Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne counties and illegally sold cannabis to underage customers, according to a judgment issued on Thursday by [Judge Healy]. "

As a result, Healy has ordered Tully to pay $7 million for the illegal profits that he made from selling cannabis without a license and $8.2 million for operating without a license while "ignoring repeated notices" from the government.

The $7 million figure represents 90% of his allegedly illegal earnings from the period between Feb. 11, 2022, and May 2, 2023.

Newsweek further reports, "Other penalties include $10,000 per day for selling cannabis without a license, $20,000 per day for continuing unlicensed sales after receiving a notice of violation, a $5,000 penalty for removing the violation notice from his Lyons location, and $1,324.98 in costs incurred by James' office."

James celebrates, Tully responds

James has released a statement celebrating the ruling.

She said:

David Tulley illegally sold cannabis in multiple stores across upstate and central New York and sold unregulated products to underage customers. These illegal and unlicensed stores are budding up throughout the state and are hurting our communities. Today, David Tulley is paying the $15 million price for his repeated illegal activity. This punishment should serve as a clear warning for all unlicensed cannabis stores in the state: we will enforce the law and shut down your operations.

Tulley, for his part, has referred to the fines as "comical" and "dumb."

"It’s comical, it’s dumb. No one has $15 million. What does it do for them? Other than let them go to every pot store and say 'Oh, if you don’t shut down you're going to be like Dave Tulley,'" he said.

Tulley continues to dispute the charges, especially the claim that he has sold to minors. He vehemently denies this. It is unclear, at the time of this writing, whether he plans to challenge the $15 million ruling.

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