Marijuana Retail Licenses In Buffalo Will Be Delayed Due To Lawsuit
If you were looking forward to legal marijuana dispensaries opening soon in Buffalo, there has been a major setback. A lawsuit is preventing certain regions from receiving licenses. On Thursday, November 10, 2022, a judge blocked 63 licenses from being awarded in five regions around the New York State.
Due to the lawsuit, almost half of the initial 150 dispensary licenses can't be distributed. In addition to Western New York, the lawsuit in question affects 4 other regions - Brooklyn, Finger Lakes, Central NY, and Mid-Hudson. The suit was filed by a Michigan man named Kenneth Gay who claims that he should be able to receive a license to open a dispensary in New York State.
Michigan Resident Files Lawsuit To Stop New York State From Giving Cannabis Licenses To New Yorkers
Michigan-based Variscite NY One, Inc. filed the lawsuit to stop the Office of Cannabis Management from issuing Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses in the regions. Variscite claims that the Office of Cannabis Management’s dispensary license application program violates the United States Constitution because it doesn't allow out-of-state operators in the first rounds. The company only recently filed for its New York Domestic Business Corporation on August 31, 2022. Prior to August 31, Variscite has no history of doing any business in the state.
36 Cannabis Dispensary Licenses Have Been Approved In New York State
On Monday, November 21, 2022, the New York State Cannabis Control Board approved the first Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Licenses. The move will finally allow the retail portion of the state's legal adult-use recreational marijuana industry to open. The Office of Cannabis Management received over 900 applications for the licenses. The 36 dispensaries that received their licenses will be selling the first legal adult-use cannabis products grown by New York Farmers. The licenses granted on Monday include 28 qualifying individuals and 8 nonprofit applicants.
At least one license was granted in each region of the state where there is currently no litigation preventing licenses from being distributed. Farmers in the state have a stockpile of 300,000 pounds of marijuana, currently sitting at 200 state-licensed farms. The estimated value is $750 million. Hopefully, with these 36 licenses approved, that marijuana crop won't go to waste.