Downtown Brooklyn

Illegal weed shops, cannabis warehouse busted in Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene

‘Operation Padlock’ rolls out across city

May 29, 2024 Mary Frost
Millions of dollars’ worth of cannabis products were discovered in a Fort Greene warehouse over the Memorial Day weekend.
Share this:

DOWNTOWN/FORT GREENE — Three illegal smoke shops in the Downtown Brooklyn area have been padlocked within the past two weeks using recently-enacted law enforcement tools, and a giant weed warehouse filled with millions of dollars’ worth of cannabis products was busted over the Memorial Day weekend in Fort Greene.

The businesses were shut down thanks to “Operation Padlock to Protect,” a collaboration among the NYPD, the NYC Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, which began its rollout in May. The operation sealed 75 illegal cannabis locations across the city and issued $6 million in penalties as of May 14, Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.

The new enforcement powers stem from initiatives unveiled in April by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The Happy Eyes Dispensary at 133 Lawrence St. in Downtown Brooklyn is one of three illegal cannabis shops recently shut down by the 84th Precinct in cooperation with the NYC Sheriff Department. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

Three shops shuttered in Downtown Brooklyn

Several officers from the 84th Precinct, which includes Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights, have been deputized by the Sheriff’s Office to do cannabis enforcement as part of the Sheriff Joint Compliance Task Force, the precinct’s Commanding Officer Captain Thomas Maffei said at the monthly meeting of the precinct’s Community Council on May 21.

“Last week the newly-deputized 84th Precinct officers shut down three illegally operating cannabis shops,” he told the crowd.

The NYC Sheriff Department posted this notice on Exotic Smoke Shop on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights on May 15. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

P.O. Ocean Wong told the Brooklyn Eagle that officers had padlocked a shop on Livingston Street, another one on Lawrence Street, and the “notorious” Exotic smoke shop on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights.

All three shops remained closed on Sunday. Two men sitting outside the ‘Happy Eyes Dispensary’ at 133 Lawrence St. confirmed to the Eagle that it had been shut down by police, and advised the reporter that another illegal weed shop just a few doors away remained open for business. 

The Sheriff Joint Compliance Task Force hit the marijuana jackpot on Saturday as a warehouse stuffed with cannabis products was discovered on Adelphi Street in Fort Greene. Photo: NYC Sheriff Joint Compliance Task Force

Giant weed warehouse busted in Fort Greene

The Sheriff Joint Compliance Task Force hit the marijuana jackpot on Saturday as a warehouse stuffed with cannabis products was discovered in Fort Greene. 

Officers from the 88th Precinct responded to a 911 call of a burglary in progress at 65 Adelphi St. (about two blocks from Fort Greene Park) at roughly 5:30 a.m. Saturday, May 25. Inside, they found three men with burglary tools, according to the police report. 

They also found mountains of marijuana products, and notified the NYC Sheriff’s Office.

“An inspection of the warehouse resulted in the seizure of several million dollars worth of cannabis products,” the Sheriff Joint Compliance Task Force said in a statement posted on Facebook. Seized were “hundreds of pounds of cannabis flower, cannabis pre-rolls, THC vape products, THC edibles, THC concentrate, and other THC derivatives.” 

Officers from the 88th Precinct responding to a 911 call of a burglary on Adelphi St. in Fort Greene uncovered millions of dollars worth of cannabis products. Photo: NYC Sheriff Joint Compliance Task Force

Photos supplied by the Sheriff’s Office show boxes and bins stacked with bags, vials and bottles.

Arrested and charged with burglary and possession of burglar tools were Bushwick resident Michael Davis, 37; John Layne, 36, of Pelham Bay in the Bronx; and Bushwick resident Nigel Sandy, 37.

Almost 2,000 illegal cannabis-related shops are operating in the city (vs. 56 legal shops), according to estimates which vary as closed shops sometimes reopen in other locations — or even relocate to trucks, as happened in Bay Ridge last week. An unlicensed cannabis shop named “Gelato” was shut down for the second time after it tried to reopen in the same location using a weed-dealing truck, the New York Post reported May 26.

Quite the stash: Police discovered a warehouse stuffed with cannabis products on Adelphi Street in Fort Greene on Saturday, May 25. Photo: NYC Sheriff Joint Compliance Task Force

Despite hundreds of weed shops observed by Brooklyn residents, only eight adult-use non-medicinal cannabis locations are operating legally in the borough, and only one in the Downtown area: The Travel Agency at 118 Flatbush.

The other legal Brooklyn shops include Grow Together on Coney Island Avenue; BK Exotic on Flatbush Avenue; The Emerald Dispensary on Suydam Street; Matawana Dispensary on Fifth Avenue; Misha’s Flower Shop on Knickerbocker Avenue; and Cana Life NY Inc. (DBA Hill) on Bedford Avenue. (Society House does not have a physical location yet, but makes deliveries in the Downtown area.)


Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment