New York Settles Lawsuit Enabling More Dispensaries to Open their Doors

New York’s Cannabis Control Board settled a lawsuit which had been holding up the state’s cannabis industry.

The first cannabis dispensary that was legal in the state of New York opened in Greenwich Village in December 2022 (1). Coming up on its anniversary, the city only has 11 licensed dispensaries. The state of New York has a total of 27 dispensaries (1).

An emergency meeting that took place on November 27, 2023, with the Cannabis Control Board where a lawsuit that had been preventing progression of the state’s cannabis industry came to a close. The board approved a settlement which was celebrated throughout the state, especially by business who were ready to open but were unable to due to the lawsuit (1).

“This is a significant moment,” said Chris Alexander, the executive director of the state Office of Cannabis Management (1).

“We do not have external investors at this time, so everything’s been financed out of our family savings, for myself and my partners,” David Nicponski explained, a licensee who has been waiting to open a dispensary called “Freshly Baked NYC”, located on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx (1). “So it has been exceedingly stressful for the last four months.”

“We’ve been paying employees,” John Ruggiero mentioned, he has not been allowed the option to open his dispensary named “Elevate Cannabis”, in Mount Vernon, New York (1). “We had groups of people ready to work, shifts ready. We had employees ready. So it’s been very rough.”

Alexander reported to Spectrum News (1), that there is an estimation of two dozen dispensaries waiting to be officially opened.

“We’re hopeful that folks get out the gate running,” Alexander commented (1). “We want to have a lot of openings as quickly as possible.”

Previously, New York handed out dispensary licenses to individuals who had a prior cannabis conviction or close family members of someone who had received a cannabis sentence. This is what led to a disparity that was felt by a group of veterans with disabilities (1). The group sued the state Cannabis Control Board and the state Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) because they had not been given the same equal priority under the state’s law (1,2).

With the lawsuit now settled, cannabis businesses are hoping to finally open as well as grow in New York’s cannabis industry.

References

  1. Cuza, B. Settlement in Cannabis Lawsuit Could Bring New Legal Dispensaries https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/rochester/politics/2023/11/28/settlement-in-cannabis-lawsuit-could-bring-a-flood-of-new-legal-dispensaries (accessed Nov 28, 2023).
  2. McEvoy, E. New York Halts Dispensary Licenses Amid Lawsuit Over Cannabis Equity https://www.cannabissciencetech.com/view/new-york-halts-dispensary-licenses-amid-lawsuit-over-cannabis-equity (accessed Nov 28, 2023).

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