ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A New York State Supreme Court judge issued an order Monday, temporarily blocking the Office of Cannabis Management’s efforts to distribute and process cannabis dispensary licenses.

The injunction was granted after a group of veterans filed a lawsuit claiming the Conditional Adult Use Cannabis Retail dispensary application program violates the 2019 Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which says the state must implement an equity plan.

“Individuals like service-disabled veterans, who are also social equity applicants, who should be prioritized under the MRTA – the marijuana regulation taxation act –  the plaintiffs are arguing that they’ve been harmed by being left out of this first mover’s advantage,” said Fatima Afia, Attorney at Rudick Law Group.

The injunction granted Monday prevents the OCM from granting new conditional adult-use recreational dispensary licenses, or processing existing ones, until instructed otherwise by the court.

Read the court order

State Senator Jeremy Cooney, the chair of the New York State Senate Subcommittee on Cannabis, released a statement Monday evening saying:

“I am deeply disappointed in today’s court decision, which temporarily stops the awarding of conditional cannabis retail licenses in New York State.

It is no secret that New York’s adult-use cannabis roll-out has been slower than expected, and now is not the time to stand in the way of progress made. We must focus on awarding non-conditional licenses, which will prioritize social equity candidates and allow more businesses to open.”