New York court’s move signals adult-use marijuana sales by MSOs

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Multistate cannabis operators with medical marijuana licenses in New York could begin adult-use sales as soon as this month.

That development comes after the New York Supreme Court on Friday lifted an injunction that had paused most adult-use licensing in the state since Aug. 7.

The injunction was in response to a legal challenge to the state’s social equity policy.

That lawsuit, brought by four military veterans who said they were unlawfully shut out of the process, was officially settled last week.

The settlement means several hundred hopefuls for Conditional Adult-Use Recreational Dispensary (CAURD) licenses can now resume their application processes, the Associated Press reported.

That includes the four military veterans, who will be granted permits.

It also means the settlement of a separate lawsuit brought by MSOs who entered New York’s cannabis market after acquiring existing medical marijuana business permits.

The MSOs include Acreage Holdings, Curaleaf Holdings, Green Thumb Industries and PharmaCann.

In a statement, Chris Alexander, the executive director of the state’s Office of Cannabis Management, said he is “deeply relieved for the many entrepreneurs, who have spent the last three months trapped in limbo, who are now able to open their cannabis businesses, and for our communities, which will soon begin to see more stores open faster.”

“New York is the only state in the nation where those harmed by prohibition, including nonprofits serving formerly incarcerated individuals, are the building blocks of our cannabis industry, and we are immensely proud of this,” Alexander added.

A recreational marijuana market in New York was signed into law in March 2021, but the state’s first legal adult-use retailer, operated by New York City nonprofit Housing Works, didn’t open until December 2022.