NY Set to See Surge in Legal Weed Shops Following Cannabis Lawsuit SettlementNovember 28, 2023
A settlement in a lawsuit regarding New York’s legal cannabis market has been reached, which will allow for the opening of hundreds of new pot shops. The settlement brings an end to an injunction that has halted the rollout of licensed weed shops and prevented new licenses from being issued. The lawsuit was filed by service-disabled veterans who accused the state of overstepping its authority by only opening up licenses to those impacted by a marijuana conviction. As part of the settlement, the four disabled veterans involved in the lawsuit will each receive expedited retail licenses and site protection, and the settlement also includes a stop on the issuance of new CAURD licenses until April. The agreement was approved in an emergency meeting by the state’s Cannabis Control Board and didn’t determine the claims of either side, leaving the door open to future litigation. Judge Kevin Bryant is expected to give the agreement final approval, ending three months of waiting for over 400 licensees who have been unable to move their businesses forward. Before the settlement, Bryant allowed a few exceptions to the injunction, allowing dispensaries in Queens and Harlem to open. The settlement also includes benefits for service-disabled veterans and a dedicated campaign to get more veterans involved in the cannabis market. Chris Alexander, executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management, expressed optimism about the resolution of the litigation, stating that licensing has been opened to all equity entrepreneurs and provided a clear pathway for medical operators to participate in the adult-use market.