BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Smoke Shop in Malden is shut down. Police said the business was trying to go around the law and act like a pot shop.
On Thursday night, Malden police showed off the marijuana products they confiscated from the local vape store, a business not licensed to sell the drug.
Shawn Mignault was not surprised to hear about the bust. “It’s a business, and they are selling it everywhere else but here,” said Shawn Mignault of Everett.
The city is in the process of taking applications for recreational marijuana shops.
“There’s oversight, there’s rules and regulations, there’s check and balances, the people know exactly what they are getting when they purchase, in these type of shops people don’t know what they are getting,” said Malden Police Capt. Marc Gatcomb.
Officers said Boston Smoke Shop tried to be sneaky, but it’s still illegal.
“You would pay $18 for this black plastic tube and because they were so generous they would provide the customer with a pre-rolled marijuana blunt,” said Malden Police Sgt. Michael Powell.
Customers could also buy a cheap battery for $38 with “free” THC oil.
Police received a tip and quickly moved in, making two undercover buys.
“We don’t know it it’s laced with anything,” said Powell.
They said busting the shop is about keeping customers safe and making sure businesses who want to sell recreational marijuana do so legally.
The two shop employees who sold the pot to officers are not facing charges. Police consider them pawns of a potentially larger problem.
“Understand the law and don’t try to circumvent it, there’s a right way to do things, there’s a wrong way to do things. The wrong way equals is distribution,” said Powell.
The owner will have to go before the city to re-open the store. Police have not yet filed charges because they are still investigating. They say the owner does own other vape stores.
Statement from Boston Smoke Shop:
Nearly a year ago, Boston Smoke Shop raised concerns with a local public health official about the widespread practice of gifting marijuana and THC products in 21+ smoke/vape shops throughout Greater Boston. We were told the issue would be raised with appropriate authorities, and that we would receive advice on how to proceed. That clarification never came and the practice only grew more prevalent: not only in adults-only stores like ours, but convenience stores and other retail operations.
If regulators and government officials are now ready to clarify whether the state’s gifting provision applies to retail stores, Boston Smoke Shop welcomes the opportunity, as we did one year ago, to help provide that clarity for the hundreds of affected businesses across the state.