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Court Lifts Injunction on NY Cannabis Licenses, Clearing Path for More Dispensaries

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Exciting news for New Yorkers came on March 28, 2023, when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals entered an Order in the Variscite NY One case, lifting the injunction that prevented the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) from issuing Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses in several New York State regions. OCM is now free to issue CAURD licenses to the following regions: Central New York, Western New York, Mid-Hudson, and Brooklyn. However, the injunction on cannabis licenses in the Finger Lakes region remains in place.

Governor Kathy Hochul released a statement on the news, saying:

New York’s brand-new cannabis industry is making significant progress to promote social equity and right the wrongs of the past, creating the fairest and safest market in the nation. I am pleased that a federal appellate court has limited an injunction in favor of the State of New York in the matter of Variscite NY One, Inc. v. Office of Cannabis Management, et al. This decision will allow New York’s social equity entrepreneurs to open safe, regulated cannabis dispensaries in Central New York, Western New York, the Mid-Hudson Region and Brooklyn. For the first time, New Yorkers in nearly every region of the state will have access to safer, high-quality, adult-use cannabis products. I am committed to ensuring New York continues to lead the nation in our safe and equitable approach to the cannabis market.

This news comes after state regulators announced that they were increasing the licenses to 300 in total, which doubles each location’s allowance. The next Cannabis Control Board meeting will be held on April 3, 2023, where we anticipate learning of many more licenses granted, so stay tuned.

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Green Light Attorneys Perry N. Salzhauer, Daniel Shortt, and Brittany Adikes have joined McGlinchey Stafford