Desi Talk – that’s all you need to know Mayor Eric Adams. 4 CITY VIEWS May 17, 2024 “F irst, I would like to congratulate the consul general for announcing these two initiatives. The availability of emergency ser- vices for 365 days is unheard of. We would like to reconfirm VFS Global’s full commitment to implement every initiative that the consulate general of India in NewYork or other consulates of India in the US wish to take. These initia- tives make people’s journey to passport, and visa more comfortable and convenient. These initiatives will help citizens at large.” Community Op-Ed: “Operation Padlock To Protect” — How New York City Is Taking Action To Shut Down Illegal Smoke And Cannabis Shops W hen we came to office two years ago, we had a clear vision: protect public safety, rebuild our economy, and make this city more livable for hardwork- ing NewYorkers. But the increase of unli- censed smoke and cannabis shops across the five boroughs is one of the biggest quality-of-life issues facing our city. That’s why now that we have been granted the authority, we’re taking action against unli- censed smoke and cannabis shops, while still supporting those that have played by the rules. Illegal businesses prey on and target our most vulnerable, including children, selling dangerous, counterfeit products, and creating eyesores across our city. Illegal smoke and cannabis shops stand in the way of the legal cannabis market, taking money out of the registers of small business owners trying to earn a living, many of whom are formerly justice- involved. To help the emerging legal can- nabis economy and protect our streets, we must permanently shut down these illegal storefronts and their unlawful business practices. That’s exactly what “Operation Pad- lock to Protect” will do. The multi-agency operation is the start of a five-borough strategic plan — that will accelerate in the coming weeks — to shut down even more unlicensed smoke and cannabis shops in the City of NewYork. Thanks to Governor Kathy Hochul and our partners in the state Legislature, NewYork City can now use the full force of the law to padlock and protect our streets. With these new enforcement powers and legal author- ity granted by the state, we are making it clear that any operator acting illegally will face swift consequences as we protect our city’s children, improve quality of life, and facilitate a safe and thriving legal canna- bis market. Operation Padlock to Protect is bring- ing together the NewYork City Sheriff’s Office, the NewYork City Police Depart- ment, and the Department of Consumer andWorker Protection in partnership as the agencies padlock these illegal and unlicensed shops. Businesses that operate near a church or school, sell to minors, or have gotten customers sick in the past can now see their doors sealed and pad- locked that very same day. Prior to securing these powers from the state, we could only use the limited tools available to us to protect children and crack down on these illegal stores. Our interagency Sheriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force was able to conduct limited enforcement against unlicensed establish- ments, but we were still able to conduct over 46,000 inspections, collect over $18 million dollars in fines, issue 17,000 sum- monses, and close down 160 illegal busi- nesses. Real numbers showing the real impact of our interagency efforts. The legal cannabis industry offers a once-in-a-generation chance for those disproportionately impacted by the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ to build wealth, especially in our Black and Brown com- munities. For too long, these communities faced high rates of drug-related incarcera- tion and were denied economic opportu- nities. But thanks to the equitable, legal cannabis industry, they have the chance to get in on the industry from the ground up and our administration wants to ensure that this emerging economy has a chance to burn bright in our city. Those who flout the cannabis laws and regulations are robbing the very commu- nities that are finally on the cusp of ben- efiting from a just and equitable system. These new enforcement powers make it clear: if you operate an illegal smoke shop, you will be shut down. We are going to continue to protect our city’s children, improve quality of life, and facilitate a safe and thriving legal cannabis market in NewYork City. By NewYork City Mayor Eric Adams Amit Kumar Sharma, Head-Americas, VFS Global Said The Following Regarding The Consulate General Of India New York’s Announcement: Photo:X@IndiainNewYork Photos:LinkedIn Amit Kumar Sharma PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT