Now that everything from gardening tools to medicine is sold online and marketed in social media, Suffolk authorities say they have found a marijuana dealer using the same techniques.
Michael Bennett, 21, of Brooklyn, was the owner and operator of the online SuffolkSensi Flower Shop, taking orders through its website, accepting credit cards and cash and delivering his illegal product personally, prosecutors said.
Bennett pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three counts of third-degree criminal sale of marijuana and four counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of marijuana. If convicted he faces a maximum of 11/3 to 4 years in prison.
Suffolk County Court Judge James F.X. Doyle ordered him held on bail of $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond.
His attorney, Lani Houston of the Legal Aid Society, said Bennett is a Marine veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He was honorably discharged after getting injured in both knees and a shoulder, she said.
Suffolk Assistant District Attorney John Scarglato said Bennett ran a slickly marketed marijuana operation that made him $1,000 a week.
The website, which was still functioning Tuesday afternoon, included an online order form with prices ranging from $80 for an eighth of an ounce of marijuana to $650 for an ounce of hash.
The most recent "flavor of the week" was Tangerine Dream, and its tasting notes, mimicking those of wine merchants, describe how it was bred from other varieties.
"When smoked, Tangerine Dream comes into its own," the site continues. "The citrus flavour is zesty and invigorating. The aroma is the same and the hit is something special."
The business also has an associated Facebook page and a Twitter feed that keeps followers up to date on menu changes.
The site also includes recipes for making cannabis butter and honey-flavored marijuana brownies.