NY Cannabis Control Board approves settlement agreement, pushing possibility for cannabis storefronts to open
Retail cannabis storefronts could soon be opening now that a lawsuit over who gets the first round of licenses has been settled.
New York's Cannabis Control Board approved the settlement agreement Monday regarding a lawsuit brought by a group of veterans.
Part of the lawsuit alleged that the Office of Cannabis Management precluded veterans' access to some adult-use retail dispensary licenses. The original state law gave preference to people who had previous marijuana convictions.
A judge issued an injunction on card holders, preventing business owners from opening storefronts.
In a statement, the chair of the Cannabis Control Board said in part, "Once the settlement is approved, we're hopeful those impacted will be empowered to open their storefronts and embark on their entreprenurial journeys."
Osbert Orduna runs Long Island's only cannabis delivery business, The Cannabis Place.
He had plans to expand the business, and develop brick-and-mortar dispensaries, but all the plans got put on hold in August.
"Thirty unionized cannabis careers that we, The Cannabis Place, were bringing to our dispensary - all of those jobs got put on pause,” said Orduna.
Some relief may be on the way. The state's Cannabis Control Board unanimously approved a settlement agreement Monday to resolve a lawsuit brought by veterans.
The lawsuit claimed in part the conditional adult-use retail dispensary license, or CAURD license, prevented groups like service disabled veterans from applying for an adult-use license. The plaintiffs say other groups were given priority instead.
Orduna is a service disabled veteran and CAURD license holder.
"There are literally dozens of service disabled veterans that are card license holders or are part of card license teams,” he said.
A judge filed an injunction in August while the case made its way through the courts, preventing business owners from opening storefronts.
"Everything stopped. Time stopped. It's like we were frozen dead in our tracks,” said Orduna.
With a settlement on the horizon, the plans of Orduna and over 400 other CAURD license holders may be back on track.
Orduna isn't celebrating just yet.
"It still has to go before the judge. He still has to decide whether he's going to lift the injunction or not. And so, this is just one initial step in several steps that need to happen,” he said.
The details of the settlement are confidential and there's no word yet on when a judge would decide on lifting the injunction.
The terms of the settlement are confidential.