New York lawsuit settlements OK’d, but adult-use cannabis permits still on hold

Be at the forefront of cannabis and psychedelics science and innovation. Register today & Save $200 on tickets to The Emerald Conference by MJBiz Science, April 1-3 in San Diego.


New York regulators on Monday approved settlement agreements in two lawsuits that have contributed to the tortuous rollout of legal adult-use cannabis sales in the state.

Details of Monday’s approvals were not immediately available.

The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) did not immediately respond to an MJBizDaily request for comment.

The settlements – reached earlier this month – must now be approved by a state judge before an injunction blocking the issuance of adult-use licenses in New York is lifted.

During an emergency Cannabis Control Board meeting Monday, board members voted unanimously to approve settlement agreements in two lawsuits:

The August lawsuit led to a judge imposing an injunction that halted more than 400 retail permit applications.

In the meantime, regulators opened the licensing process to both MSOs who hold medical permits as well as applicants who did not meet initial criteria for a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license.

After legalizing marijuana in March 2021, New York had promised to reserve the first round of adult-use retail licenses for justice-impacted individuals, but officials failed to swiftly issue permits.

Only 20 adult-use storefronts are licensed in New York, according to the most recent OCM data.

The lack of legal access has in turn sparked an enormous illicit market, with more than 1,500 storefronts and other merchants selling marijuana without a license in New York City alone, officials have said.