Brewer Padlocks Another Illegal Weed Spot

Gale Brewer

Councilmember Gale Brewer continues her crusade against illegal smoke shops, broadcasting her latest takedown on X / Twitter.

“This establishment has been closed for operating illegally,” reads a sign in the window with several bongs visible behind the glass.


A representative from Brewer’s office tells us this store has been issued at least 26 violations “between January 2022 and July 2023,” and it’s been on their radar for some time now.

As for the implications of being padlocked – i.e., is it ‘toking off’ for good? – the rep told us this:

“To get the padlocks off they have to pay their outstanding penalties—a figure you’d have to get from DCWP. If they are caught again they get padlocked again and have to pay the new penalties to get the locks off. While all of this is happening the City and the landlord can bring cases against the retailer to get them out for good.”

Vape and Dispensary is just one of 55 stores on Brewer’s current list of unlicensed cannabis retailers, which is a very big number, especially compared to the Upper West Side’s one legal cannabis retailer (Flower Power Dispensers at 22 West 66th Street, which we first wrote about in March ahead of its opening).

The number, 55, is also pretty huge compared to 26, which is how many illicit pot shops were reported after the Councilmember’s initial survey in December 2022.

While some of them may have been hiding in plain sight, or just not doing anything illegal on the exact day(s) they were raided, it’s clear that the dark side of the industry continues to blaze past business owners trying to do things the right way.

Here’s a list of every legal weed store in New York State.


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