Marijuana MSOs sue New York over adult-use retail license delay

March 16, 2023 · MJ Biz Daily

Wooden judge gavel and us money dollar bills. Bribe concept

Multistate operators with New York medical cannabis licenses sued regulators on Thursday in an attempt to gain quick entry into the state’s adult-use marijuana market.

The MSOs are currently shut out from New York’s legal recreational market.

In a lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court in Albany, the Coalition for Access to Regulated and Safe Cannabis (CARSC) alleges that the Office of Cannabis Management and the Cannabis Control Board violated New York’s 2021 legalization law – the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) – when the two agencies reserved the first 150 adult-use retail licenses for social equity applicants.

That move left out the state’s 10 vertically integrated “registered organizations,” which include some of the country’s biggest cannabis companies, including Curaleaf Holdings, Green Thumb Industries, Acreage Holdings and PharmaCann.

Those four companies are all members of the CARSC, according to The (Syracuse) Post-Standard’s NY Cannabis Insider, which first reported the suit.

Two other hopeful adult-use retail applicants and a Long Island MMJ provider are also participants in the lawsuit.

“Rather than perform the tasks required by the MRTA – which would promote a safe and regulated cannabis industry for medical patients and adult-use consumers alike – CCB and OCM have improperly assumed the role of the Legislature to impose their own policies over those of New York’s elected officials and, by extension, their constituents,” the lawsuit alleges.

The suit names OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander and CCB Chair Tremaine Wright, blaming their policies for, among other things, the proliferation of unlicensed cannabis stores in New York City.

Aaron Ghitelman, a spokesperson for the OCM, said the agency could not comment on pending litigation.

Though New York Gov. Kathy Hochul earned plaudits from social justice advocacy organizations when state regulators announced that “justice involved individuals” would get first dibs at the adult-use market, the state has been slow to issue retail dispensary licenses.

As of earlier this month, the CCB had issued 66 permits. But only four adult-use retailers have opened for business, three of them in Manhattan.

A fourth dispensary, William Jane, opened Thursday in Ithaca.

Further complicating matters is a separate lawsuit, filed by a Michigan man who alleges he was denied a New York state license because of a requirement that favors in-state residents over out-of-staters.

That suit has delayed the issuance of at least 63 permits in five of the state’s 14 geographic regions, including Brooklyn.

It’s still not clear when the MSOs that obtained one of the state’s few and precious MMJ licenses will be eligible to apply for adult-use permits.

The chair of at least one company, Curaleaf’s Boris Jordan, recently suggested that litigation could be coming when he said New York’s social equity program went “too far.”

New York’s approach stands in contrast to other states, including New Jersey, where MSOs that held MMJ licenses – including Curaleaf – were the first to open for adult-use sales. (Full Story)

In category:Legal
Tags:
Next Post

Police in California city seize 1,500 pounds of illegal marijuana products

Police in Pomona, California, are investigating a business where they found 1,500 pounds of unlicensed marijuana products as well as electronic casino gaming consoles. The business also had an area dedicated to selling cannabis, The LeafDesk reported. According to the media outlet,…
Read
Previous Post

UN Suggests U.S. Federal Government Must Force States To Repeal Marijuana Legalization To Comply With International Treaty

The United Nations’s (UN) drug control body is suggesting that the U.S. is out of compliance with a decades-old international drug treaty because the federal government is passively allowing states within the country to legalize marijuana. While the UN’s International…
Read
Random Post

Maryland Officials Tout Nation’s ‘First’ Marijuana Social Equity Licensing Lottery For All Business Categories

Maryland officials have announced the winners of a first-of-its-kind marijuana licensing lottery for social equity applicants across all license categories, approving 174 growers, processors and dispensaries. The Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) held the lottery last month. As the state approaches…
Read
Random Post

The Google Maps Effect Hits the Cannabis Industry - Weedmaps and Leafly Becoming Obsolete for Cannabis Consumers?

They say when Google enters your industry it is time to sell and move on, but has that time finally come for internet website giants like Weedmaps and Leafly?  With Google Maps now listing dispensaries and reviews, and lowering both Weedmaps and Leafly's…
Read
Random Post

Severe weather disrupts US cannabis operations from coast to coast

Cannabis companies from Northern California to South Florida will continue confronting operational challenges this week, as severe weather taxes power grids while parts of the Northeast struggle to recover from historic flooding. Millions across the country face excessive heat warnings,…
Read
Random Post

Cory Booker Pushes For Psychedelics Reform To Unlock Therapeutic Access

As Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) works to enact marijuana reform before the end of Congress, he’s also pushing to promote access to psychedelics that he says hold therapeutic potential. In a video posted to Twitter on Monday, the senator talked…
Read