More illicit cannabis shops sprout up in Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is turning into Weed Gardens —  with another unlicensed cannabis shop brazenly opening up in the tidy Queens neighborhood.

The illicit marijuana store, called “Pre-Roll World,” launched its grand opening on Metropolitan Avenue two days ago with lots of, um, buzz.

“I don’t understand it. They’re not licensed. The city is not doing anything about it,” said Kew Gardens community activist Sylvia Hack, a member of Community Board 9.

Hack said Community Board 9 will discuss the proliferation of such illicit cannabis shops, which have been sprouting up along local commercial strips without fear of consequences.

Dominick Pistone, president to the Kew Gardens Civic Association, added, “At best they’re jumping the gun. At worst, they’re illegal.

“How are they being allowed to operate? Why are they being allowed to operate?”

He said he will discuss the black market with the NYPD’s 102nd Precinct.

A Post reporter walked into the shop Sunday and bought a package of STIIIZY Edible “Cannabis-Infused Gummies” for $30. The store only accepted cash.

More illicit cannabis shops sprout up in Kew Gardens
Marijuana edibles for sale at the newly opened Queens store.

The shop —  adorned outside with hordes of colorful balloons and gold blown-up letters saying, “GRAND OPENING” — offered a cornucopia of cannabis pleasures. There were pre-rolled joints, a plethora of various levels of flowered marijuana, vapes, oils and numerous edibles.

Nearly all the products had a California label, claiming they were grown or manufactured in the Golden State.

Under New York’s “seed to sale” law, cannabis products sold here must be farmed and manufactured in the Empire State.

Pre-rolled marijuana joints for sale at Pre-Roll World.
Pre-rolled marijuana joints for sale at Pre-Roll World.

Almost all of the products at the Kew Gardens store were grown or manufactured in California.
Almost all of the products at the Kew Gardens store were grown or manufactured in California.

Employees claimed Pre-Roll World applied for a New York state license.
Employees claimed Pre-Roll World applied for a New York state license.

Workers at the store claimed that the firm that owns Pre-Roll World had applied for a state license.

The state recently awarded the first 36 licenses in New York to sell cannabis: 28 to retailers and 8 to not-for-profit groups. None have yet opened, and their locations have not even been identified.

The Post previously recently purchased products at two other unlicensed local cannabis shops in Kew Gardens: Triangle Dreams at 82-64 Austin St. and Lefferts Exotics at 81-27 Lefferts Blvd.

Critics say the roll-out of New York’s cannabis program is turning into a bad trip.

One study released last week claimed there are “likely tens of thousands of illicit cannabis businesses” currently operating out of bodegas, smoke shops and other storefronts in New York City — with some pop-up shops selling bad or dangerously tainted weed, a new study reveals.

Meanwhile, the Cannabis Social Equity Coalition said the first legal sellers are not adequately trained for the market and will face a mountain of debt.

In another bizarre turn in New York’s legalized-pot saga, The Post on Sunday reported that three of the nonprofits awarded state licenses to legally sell weed ironically offer substance abuse services — or mandate sobriety for participants.

New York regulators have also come under fire after revelations surfaced that former NBA star Chris Webber, selected by the state to help raise $200 million in a public-private partnership for the emerging legal weed industry, has failed to raise any cash.

The Office of Cannabis Management has defended its rollout of the program.