Nearly two dozen tow trucks, each accompanied by three vehicles with the New York City Sheriff's Office, were confiscating a number of weed trucks in Manhattan and Brooklyn Wednesday as part of an organized sweep to address community complaints, most of which appear to be over parking, authorities say.
The sheriff's office says the charges that stem from Wednesday's sweep focus mostly on registration and parking issues rather than the products being sold from the trucks, some of which may be selling marijuana products and some of which may only be selling CBD products.
Quality-of-life complaints from neighbors, officials say, frequently come in when trucks set up shop in communities and don't move for periods of time.
It wasn't immediately clear how many trucks were seized Wednesday. They were being towed to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
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"There's an issue with the selling of products people are not licensed to sell. That is an issue," explained NYC Deputy Sheriff Maureen Kokeas. "But the main concern today is what's happening on the streets."
Uncle Budd's was among the trucks seized in Manhattan. It was cited at 56th Street and Eighth Avenue for allegedly selling edibles and not being a registered business utilizing a commercial space. The citation carries roughly $1,000 in fines along with impound-related costs. A worker there said the truck doesn't sell pot. It accepts donations.
It wasn't clear if any of the trucks towed Wednesday were connected to Weed World Candies, a street-side CBD product seller that made headlines in mid-June after a dozen of its trucks were towed in Manhattan over $500,000 in outstanding parking tickets.
Some of those trucks were towed because the company's tickets were in judgment, while others were picked up because they were parked illegally. More than $200,000 worth of parking tickets have been paid, Weed World announced last month, and said it had established a payment plan to pay off the remaining fines.
The owner of Weed World Candies, Bilal Muhammad, said after the last sweep that the company's ticket situation "got out of hand" after contractors didn't pay, leaving Weed World to deal with it. He said they "took for granted tickets were just being taken care of," and that going forward, tickets would be paid on time.
Muhammad called tickets a "natural byproduct" of having a fleet of trucks operating in a congested city like New York, but he said he took issue with accusations that his company was selling cannabis products without a license. Those still aren't available in New York.
“We’re being grouped with these up and newcomers that are actually selling real weed and we don’t sell real weed," Muhammad said at the time. "We never have."
According to its website, Weed World Candies launched in 1999 with the goal to get marijuana and hemp legalized and industrialized.
"We tour the country in a fleet of 'loud' vehicles promoting the legalization and decriminalization of the cannabis plant and all its components," it says.
It's not clear exactly what the so-called "weed trucks" have been selling in Weed World's name. The website lists only CBD products, which lack THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and says its campers sell "lollipops."