New York regulators said Tuesday that the state has reached a settlement with the Michigan cannabis company, paving the way for implementation of the Empire State’s entire regulated marijuana industry, specifically including the Finger Lakes region.
The five-member panel of the New York Cannabis Control Board unanimously approved the settlement decision with Variscite NY One, a Michigan-based company that sued the state last year after being denied a retail cannabis license.
resulted in the ensuing lawsuit Court-ordered injunction in November that prevented New York State from issuing licenses to several boroughs, including Brooklyn.
In March, the same federal judge struck down parts of the injunction, which enabled the state to award 99 new licenses, including Brooklyn, Mid-Hudson and other areas where licenses were temporarily blocked. But the injunction remained in effect in the Finger Lakes, the only area of New York where licenses were not granted.
But a vote on Tuesday by the Cannabis Control Council could change that.
The lawsuit was filed last year by Kenneth Gay, owner of Variscite who was previously convicted of a pot-related offense in Michigan.
New York announced last year that the first round of licenses to sell cannabis would be awarded to individuals who have had a previous conviction for a marijuana offense or a family member of someone who committed it.
But Jay’s application was denied because his conviction occurred in Michigan, and regulators in New York require license holders to have “significant” relationships with the Empire State.
Tuesday’s decision by the Cannabis Control Council must now be approved by a federal judge. If that’s the case, the court’s order preventing the state from consenting will be officially terminated [Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary] licenses for businesses in the Finger Lakes region,” and “also includes an adult use license for plaintiff once the general license begins,” According to the Syracuse website.
“We felt we had strong ground on this; however, it’s holding back CAURD licensees in that area,” said Cannabis Control Board Member Robin McDaniel, as quoted by Syracuse.com. “I’m so glad we’re thinking about this today.. Not that I think this lawsuit has any merit, but CAURD licensees need to be in the Finger Lakes, too, to get to work.”
Note the port Most of the “details of the settlement will remain confidential until they are filed and approved in court later this week.”
The adult cannabis market took off in New York late last year with the opening of a store in Manhattan’s East Village.
Other Manhattan stores followed, and in March, it was the first legal cannabis retailer Opened in Queens. (It was also the first women-owned dispensary in the state).
After a federal judge reversed part of the injunction earlier this year, the Cannabis Control Board announced in April that it had “granted at least one [Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary, or “CAURD”] temporary license in every area other than the Finger Lakes, which are still prohibited by injunction.”
The board explained at the time that the 99 new licenses it had granted “included four for Western New York, one for Central New York, five for Mid-Hudson, and three for Brooklyn, marking the first temporary licenses to be issued in these areas.” Judicial prohibition of the Council from issuing it.
“We are proud to have approved 99 temporary licenses today for CAURD, marking a significant expansion of the Seeding Opportunity Initiative as we continue to build a fair market that compensates for the harms of prohibition and disproportionate enforcement of cannabis,” Tremaine Wright, chair of the Cannabis Control Council, said in a statement at the time.