On Monday, the New York State Cannabis Control Board unanimously voted to accept a settlement addressing two lawsuits, thereby ending a three-month halt on the opening of recreational cannabis dispensaries statewide.
Now, 436 retail licensees entangled in the litigation can open stores and initiate deliveries. This includes 23 dispensaries ready pre-halt. Regulators can also issue new licenses.
The state faces a supply bottleneck, with most of its 600,000-pound cannabis stockpile unsold due to legal and bureaucratic delays, leaving many farmers and prospective retailers in financial distress. Currently, only 27 licensed shops and delivery services operate, far below the targeted 150 for this year, The New York Times reported.
This settlement aims to preserve the state’s provisional licensing program, prioritizing individuals with past marijuana convictions and those adversely affected by the drug war for legal cannabis sales opportunities.
The Board’s rapid emergency meeting led to an agreement expected to be presented to the Ulster County State Supreme Court within 24 hours. The overseeing judge is anticipated to approve it.
Governor Kathy Hochul stated post-vote that the settlement will advance the goal of increasing legal cannabis retailers and intensify efforts to close illegal outlets.Advertisement
Originally, the program was suspended in August by an Ulster County state judge due to a lawsuit by four service-disabled veterans alleging exclusion from the application process. This mirrored a March lawsuit by a coalition including four state medical cannabis companies.
The settlement resolves both lawsuits and limits future legal challenges against the program.
Despite the ongoing lawsuits, the state opened new licensing rounds in October, planning to award 1,000 more retail licenses, plus hundreds for cultivators, processors, distributors, cooperatives, and craft businesses.
Cannaconvo with Peter Su of Green Check Verified
Cannabis Last Week with Jon Purow interviews Peter Su of Green Check Verified. Peter Su is a Senior Vice President with Green Check Verified, the top cannabis banking compliance software/consultancy in the space. A 20+ year veteran of the banking industry, Peter serves on the Banking & Financial Services committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He chairs the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the NYCCIA & HVCIA. He is an official member of the Rolling Stone Cannabis Culture Council. And, he is on the board of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, serving as treasurer.