City sues to shutter illegal Prospect Lefferts Gardens smoke shop

Raw marijuana weighed on a scale next to a bag of marijuana ready to be sold.
Undercover officers allegedly purchased cannabis on four separate occasions from Flatbush Exotics.

The City filed a lawsuit against a Prospect Lefferts Gardens smoke shop and their landlord Monday, asking that a judge shut down the business for selling cannabis without a license.

According to the lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Aprill 22, city officials are seeking an injunction to shutter the store operating as Flatbush Exotics 3 Dispensary within the ground floor of 621 Flatbush Ave. after undercover officers conducted a “buy operation” over a six-month period.

Defendants in the case are listed as Fenimore Plaza LLC — the most recent recorded owner of the property — and Flatbush Exotic Corporation. The lawsuit alleges the defendants have been operating the store without being granted a Conditional Adult-Use Retailing Dispensary (CAURD) license and that no application is pending with the state’s Office of Cannabis Management.

Currently, the only type of license authorizing the sale of cannabis in New York state is a CAURD license.

Flatbush Exotic’s instagram page, with over 12,000 followers, boasts being a licensed CBD/THC retailer at both 621 Flatbush Ave. and 544 Flatbush Ave.

Between July 21 and Dec. 21, 2023, members of the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Brooklyn South conducted the “buy operation” targeting Flatbush Exotics 3, with the lawsuit claiming that on four separate occasions, officers purchased one ziplock bag containing cannabis, which was later confirmed to be the substance by the NYPD police laboratory.

The lawsuit is seeking to have all cannabis products removed from the store, and for the closing of the premises for a period of one year following the posting of the judgment. Officials are also seeking for each defendant to pay a penalty of $1,000 for each day that such defendant “intentionally conducted, maintained, or permitted the public nuisance.”

The filing comes following the introduction of Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget measure to crack down on the thousands of unlicensed cannabis shops in New York City since the state legalized marijuana three years ago. The changes include giving both the OCM and localities the power to padlock illicit shops for up to a year.

Brooklyn currently has eight licensed recreational dispensaries, the most recent of which, Hii NYC, opened on April 19.

Flatbush Exotics and Fenimore Plaza LLC could not be reached for comment by press time.