New York company wins critical decision in fight for medical marijuana license

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A New York-based company’s claim that it should have won one of the state’s five initial medical marijuana licenses has taken a big step forward.

An appellate panel in Albany County Supreme Court agrees with Hudson Health Extracts that the scoring methodology used by state regulators to assess part of the company’s 2015 marijuana application was “arbitrary and capricious.”

In a recent eight-page decision, the judges have sent the matter back to the state health department for a “substantive view of the financial standing portion of the application” and determine whether to grant Hudson an MMJ license.

If Hudson Health wins a license, that could open the door to other unsuccessful applicants during that time, industry experts have said.

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It also comes at a time that New York is preparing to launch a lucrative multibillion-dollar recreational marijuana industry.

Although litigation such as Hudson’s is common in marijuana licensing, the case stood out because the company scored 43rd in the financial standing portion despite having more than $18 million in capital, real estate secured for a facility and experience producing medical marijuana in two other states.

Jeff Smith can be reached at