New Lawsuit Halts Opening of New Cannabis Businesses in NY
So recently I had written about how a new cannabis company was on the verge of opening its door hear in the Hudson Valley. The new company is called Orange County Cannabis Co and back on August 4th, they held a hiring event where many people were excited about potentially becoming a part of the brand new company.
Recently new information, specifically a lawsuit that was recently filed has put a stop to Orange County Cannabis Co or any new and prospective cannabis business from opening.
Details Behind New Cannabis Lawsuit
First and foremost, I am far from a legal expert, however I will do my best to break down the specifics of the new cannabis lawsuit and how it is that things have gotten to this point.
On August 7, 2023, a New York Judge came down with an order which blocked cannabis regulators from being able to move moving forward with their retail licensing process. The order from the judge stems from a lawsuit that was filled by a group of service-disabled veterans.
The lawsuit the veterans group argues that...
...a priority licensing program for entrepreneurs impacted by marijuana enforcement was unconstitutional.
The order from the court, in favor with the veterans group, has now blocked state regulators from being able to distribute and approve new licenses or grant approval "to those who are already licensed and working toward opening up dispensaries".
New York States Cannabis Licensing Program
In the recent years and months, New York State has ushered in what has been called a "bold" licensing program to go along with its more open stance on the usage of recreational marijuana. In an article from Politico, it states that the program...
prioritized the first dispensary licenses for certain entrepreneurs with past cannabis convictions or immediate family members with past convictions...
However the plan itself has shown to have struggled. Marijuana in New York State was legalized 2 1/2 years ago and in that time only 20 shops have opened their doors. In contrast the state has had a tremendous and thriving amount of unlicensed shops open their doors within the same time frame.
In essence, the lawsuit seems as if it has pitted numerous individuals with entrepreneurial dreams and visions in the cannabis against each other.
What Does Cannabis Lawsuit Mean For the Future?
To sum everything up as easily as possible, until this lawsuit is settled, New York's cannabis businesses both established and seeking to open doors are basically frozen in place.
Check This Out: Brand New Cannabis Company
This past Friday, a hearing was held to determine the next steps for this case. The judge ruled to stay the original order, meaning everything regarding the hold on licenses remained the same.
Further hearings are scheduled to take place again tomorrow. Regardless, until some type of resolution is reached all cannabis companies are currently stuck in limbo, which in return means jobs are on the line the longer the legal process drags out.
A recent report quoted the judge overseeing this case, New York Supreme Court Justice Kevin Bryant. In the report, Justice Bryant makes the distinction that the goal is to ensure that "everyone flourishes". At the same time, Justice Bryant also indicated that "the outcome is far from certain at this time".