ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — A lawsuit that blocked recreational cannabis licenses in the Finger Lakes region has been settled. It all started when the company, Verascite, based in Michigan, sued the state over its policy on granting licenses.

Initially, the lawsuit resulted in a federal judge suspending cannabis licenses from being issued in five New York regions, but after an injunction from The Office of Cannabis Management, that narrowed down to just the Finger Lakes. “When the lawsuit had come up it was devastating, all of us were immediately put to a halt. Our whole dreams were kind of put in jeopardy at that moment,” said Britni Tantalo. She and her husband Jayson, currently sell indoor and outdoor growing equipment for cannabis. They’ve applied for the CAURD license as Flower City Dispensary and are hoping to be one of the 18 approved to open shop in the Finger Lakes. 

The settlement will allow licensing to proceed in the Finger Lakes and will give Variscite an adult use license when it becomes available. “Today, you know after this long road of waiting…we’re relieved that the Finger Lakes region will have the opportunity to benefit from this budding industry. And will be able to participate, our communities will benefit, there will be job creation, and opportunities for people to really change their economic status and potential for generational wealth,” explained Britni.

And in an effort to crack down on the illicit market, OCM says it has been working with law enforcement for months, and now their focus will be on closing doors and alerting the public of health consequences that may come from consuming untested products. “Folks will see a lot more of those … public notices that shops have been engaged in illicit activity and illicit cannabis has been seized and that we are basically closing down these businesses now,” said one member at the Cannabis Control Board meeting on Tuesday. Our Capitol Correspondent, Amal Tlaige was told that OCM has an enforcement team that will seize illegal products and close shops permanently. A total of 215 CAURD licenses have been distributed with 85 left.