NY Post: Lawmakers look to weed out illegal NYC smoke shops with possible ties to Middle East terror funding

Perfect way to scare people about cannabis !


New York lawmakers fret that fast-growing chains of marijuana shops across the city could be a source of cash for Middle East terror groups — and they’re pressing for legislation to help root out rogue financiers, The Post has learned.

Owners of the illegal smoke shops — which according to some city officials now number in the thousands, versus just 11 state-licensed shops across the Big Apple — have stayed under the radar with the help of local laws that govern so-called LLCs, or limited-liability companies.

LLCs are legitimately used by businesses to reap tax benefits and secure liability protections. But they are also subject to abuse by tax cheats, money launderers and other criminals — and backers of terrorism could be among them, state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal told The Post.

“We know LLCs are used to hide and funnel money to unsavory causes and could be used to fund terrorist activities,” said Hoylman-Sigal, who is the lead sponsor of the LLC Transparency Act. “It wouldn’t surprise me if there were individuals or groups of individuals who are financing these shops in a comprehensive manner, but we won’t know until we get to the heart of their ownership.”

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