ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State’s slow rollout of legalized marijuana sales hits another roadblock after a new ruling in the ongoing legal challenge against the State’s retail cannabis licensing process. A group of four military veterans filed the lawsuit and it claims that process unfairly kept them out of the industry.
A New York State Supreme Court judge upholding the injunction first issued last week that would keep the Office of Cannabis Management from approving any new pending applications, but those who applied before August 7, 2023, will be able to continue the process.
The injunction states the OCM has an unfair licensing process that keeps others from getting cannabis ready.
The Marcellino brothers, of Amsterdam Cannabis were just about to have their walkthrough with the OCM to okay the shop to be able to open their doors. But the brothers were put on pause due to the injunction.
“We have our camera systems installed. You can hear the music in the background. We got our sound. You got You can hear the music in the background. We got our sound system going., Everything’s painted the building, everything’s painted. The buildouts done, Security is all in. And we got the decorations and the POS system.” said Marcellino.
The brothers say that everything has been filed correctly with OCM and that they have a lot more invested than just their life savings.
“We had to go to planning board meetings. Meet with city attorneys and city comma the city mayor and had to go to and bring this to where it needs to be, where it needs to be. To be authorized to open. Heard that? On the 7th we kind of looked at each other and we’re like, oh.” said Marcellino.
Service-Disabled Veterans Small Business Owners sent NEWS10 the following statement in support of the veteran’s lawsuit:
“From the beginning, our fight has always been for equal access to this new and growing industry. We remain steadfast in our responsibility to fight for all the social equity priority groups being overlooked right now by the OCM through the CAURD program.”
Damien Cornwell, founder of the first dispensary to open in upstate says this is a chance for OCM to make moves in the right direction, before the whole program goes up in smoke.
“We need to codify CAURD into law and then we need to look at the regulations and figure out what fix they can make so they don’t continue to run into these same lawsuits and the same problems that we see in the recent past. This is common sense to me.” said Cornwell.
The judge says the OCM has until August 22 to submit a list of all licensees who have met the requirements. Any objections to those businesses being exempt need to be filed by August 24. Final determinations will be made August 25.