ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The City of Rochester has modified its nuisance law to crack down on any business selling cannabis products without a state-issued license. This includes “gifting” customers with marijuana after they buy something else in any store.  

The text of this law is nothing new, but the city had to revise clerical details to align with state laws. In a 7-2 vote on Tuesday, city council approved moving illegal cannabis sales back under the nuisance abetment program.  

“Nowhere in New York State is there anyone with a license to sell non-medical marijuana,” City Attorney Linda Kingsley explained.  

Like any business selling alcohol to people underage, unauthorized gambling, or prostitution, stores in Rochester selling marijuana products without a license can be slapped with 10 nuisance points. Kingsley said people can report offenders by filing complaints to City Hall or their Neighborhood Service Center. 

“We’ll work with the Neighborhood Service Center and figure out how aggressive we need to be with this property,” Attorney Kingsley added. “Do we need to have the owner in the next day and demand closing? Or do we simply need to have a warning meeting with them?” 

If a business racks up 18 nuisance points within a year or 12 in less than six months, it can be shut down. Deborah Granderson, who owns a shop on Atlantic Avenue used to be next to a CBD store until it closed. She alleged the owner participated in the kind of illegal sales this law targets but no complaints were filed.  

“He ended up doing other things as far as selling illegal marijuana in there,” Granderson said. “So, it stopped customers coming into my establishment thinking these two businesses were together. Because he used my address as his address.”  

“They’re creating, in many cases, a product that is not safe or sold to children,” Attorney Kingsley said. “And a product that the neighbors are telling us concerns them and feel uncomfortable.” 

Any store found possessing 10 pounds or more of weed can also be slapped with 10 nuisance points. Chad and Crystal Maier who own All Natural CBD feel this can keep clientele from getting cannabis that’s been tampered with and better understand what’s meant for pure medical use like their products.  

“When legally people are able to sell marijuana, it’s going to go through people who were legally allowed to grow the marijuana,” Crystal said. “If you go to a shop now you have no idea what else is in it.” 

This modification to the City Nuisance laws went into effect immediately. It will not apply to medical cannabis centers or those who obtain recreational licenses by the State Office of Cannabis Management by the end of this year.  

This nuisance doesn’t apply to anyone personally possessing weed. The two council members who voted against this modification were Vice President Mary Lupien and Stanley Martin.