Eager to open cannabis dispensary owners disappointed as state Supreme Court fails to lift injunction

Some larger cannabis companies sued the state over its dispensary licensing policy, which gave the first licenses to applicants with cannabis-related convictions.

Ben Nandy and Roberto Torres

Sep 15, 2023, 9:46 PM

Updated 275 days ago

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Cannabis dispensary owners were disappointed as a State Supreme Court hearing on Friday did not result in the lift of an injunction that blocks them from opening.
Some larger cannabis companies sued the state over its dispensary licensing policy, which gave the first licenses to applicants with cannabis-related convictions.
In response, the state Office of Cannabis Management is opening applications to everyone beginning Oct. 4.
Mount Vernon reading teacher Beth Smith still cannot yet start her recreational cannabis delivery business.
She had hoped an injunction freezing the state's dispensary licensing process would be lifted during Friday's closed Supreme Court hearing.
She has been ready to open the delivery business since mid-August and is planning a dispensary in White Plains.
"I know I was within 24 hours of opening when the injunction hit," Smith said during a Zoom interview Friday afternoon.
Since the dispensary licensing policy issue seemed to be resolved with the OCM's policy change, Smith and other dispensary owners came into Friday hoping state Supreme Court Judge Kevin Bryant would lift the injunction or at least grant exemptions.
As some retailers and growers have grown concerned about the future under the OCM's direction, Smith is still optimistic.
"I don't think OCM is going to hesitate at all," she said. "I think they're going to tell us as soon as that injunction is open (dismissed), go!"
An attorney for some of the companies who are suing said after the conference there was discussion about evidence and procedure, and that Bryant is being deliberate.
An attorney for several dispensaries said Friday's hearing was "much ado about nothing."
"They're going to figure out the best way to put it into writing and make sure everybody's happy," Smith said.
Bryant has not yet set a new hearing date to further discuss the OCM's policy changes and whether the injunction should be lifted.
The OCM also submitted a list of 12 dispensaries it is recommending for exemptions to the injunction.
There are more than 400 licensed dispensary owners affected by the injunction.
Just 24 dispensaries are currently operating in New York state.


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