WNY Business Owner Indicted For Illegal Gifting Of Marijuana
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced that a Western New York business owner has been indicted for illegal possession of cannabis. The 29-year-old man from Lancaster was arraigned on Monday, July 25, 2022, before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio. David A. Zale, Jr. was arraigned on a charge of one count of Criminal Possession of Cannabis in the First Degree.
Zale allegedly had 15 pounds of marijuana in his possession, along with two pounds of concentrated cannabis. Police made the discovery at his business, which is located on French Road in Cheektowaga after executing a search warrant on February 4 just after noon. Officers also discovered products that allegedly had fake medical marijuana labels on them.
He is due back in court on Thursday, August 11 at 10:30 am. Zale was released on his own recognizance and remains free because the charges against him don't qualify for bail. He is facing a maximum of seven years behind bars if he is convicted of the highest charge against him.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
New York State Busts 52 Illegal Cannabis Storefronts And Trucks
New York State isn't playing when it comes to cracking down on illegal cannabis. Legal storefronts have not opened yet for adult use, but that hasn't stopped enterprising people from setting up shop.
The Office of Cannabis Management recently identified fifty-two illicit cannabis stores in the state. Each of the vendors was sent a cease and desist letter, requiring that they stop selling marijuana without a proper dispensary license.
These stores falsely depict their operations as legal cannabis dispensaries, but they are not licensed by New York State and are selling untested products that put public health at risk.
Only dispensaries that are licensed to distribute medical marijuana are legally operating.