New Orleans officials are investigating what can be done about a small fleet of Weed World Candies vehicles that have appeared to have multiplied in the Central Business District in recent weeks. The vehicles are packed in an impressive graphic, in which marijuana-made ready-made articles are used. They are often parked near Bourbon Street.
Authorities say the deal is a scam intended to trick ignorant tourists into paying high prices for sweets that do not contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Commander Nick Gernon, head of the 8th District Police Department of New Orleans, said he believes that Weed World truckers may be involved in small-scale marijuana sales.
On October 19, NOPD officials arrested two men who said they were sitting in a Weed World car after smelling marijuana out of the vehicle. During the search of the van six partially burned hand-rolled cigars with marijuana, a transparent plastic bag with marijuana and two 9-mm handguns were found.
Despite the arrests and suspicions, the authorities had difficulties getting the vans off the road. Weed World Candies has no professional license and does not reimburse sales tax, Gernon said, and his officials have written several quotes for street sales without a license. A few weeks ago, Gernon had one of the vehicles towed off Decatur Street, where it had been parked for several days.
"I feel they see it as a business expense," Gernon said. "Instead of paying for a professional license and taxes, they pay their fine."
Several consumers on the Yelp website, who unanimously say the food does not contain THC, said they paid between $ 20 and $ 30 for sweets such as lollipops, gummy bears and brownies. Gernon said the vans would not disappear as there are still many drunken tourists willing to be cheated.
Aaron Motwani, whose family owns 10 stores along Canal Street, said Weed World's vans are bad for legitimate business owners. The people who operate the vehicles are very aggressive, he said. and when parked in front of one of its stores, tourists avoid its legitimate business trying to escape the street vendors.
"If somebody goes into one of my stores and gets them confronted automatically, they just skip the store and keep walking," said Motwani. "It is terrible for the city and the tourists do not have to see it. These people stick to the law, pay nothing and bother our customers. "
Gernon said he wanted to do everything in accordance with the law to stop Weed World's illegal operations, but he acknowledged that the minibuses had stubbornly avoided being chased away.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell is examining possible solutions to bring the company into compliance, but spokesperson Beau Tidwell declined to discuss what is being researched.
According to the Weed World Candies website, the company operates in New Orleans, Texas, Chicago, Atlanta, New York and Miami. Last year, police in Chicago defeated an Alabama in Birmingham, a married couple with marijuana worth over $ 98,000, in a Weed World vehicle, AL.com reported. In 2015, the Louisiana State Police arrested three men on Bourbon Street for selling Weed World candies without permission.
Calls to the phone number for Weed World went unanswered, and no one responded to an email sent to an address on their website. On Thursday afternoon (November 8), nobody parked in one of his vans on Canal Street.