Settlement reached in New York adult-use marijuana licensing lawsuit

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New York regulators and a group of disabled military veterans who challenged the state’s adult-use marijuana licensing process have reached “an agreement in principle to settle this matter,” according to court documents obtained by MJBizDaily.

The agreement finalized Monday between the state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and plaintiffs is expected to lead to the end of a temporary injunction that’s been in place since August, according to New York’s Daily News, which first reported the settlement.

The injunction, put in place by the New York State Supreme Court, prevented more than 400 Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licensees across the state from opening for months.

The lawsuit, Carmine Fiore v. New York State Cannabis Control Board, alleged that the OCM overstepped its authority under New York’s 2021 legalization law – the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) – and opened the licensing application window first to those with MJ-related offenses and their immediate family rather than allowing all applicants to apply at the same time.

The lawsuit contended the award system violated the state constitution and that disabled veterans could qualify as social and economic applicants under MRTA, thereby receiving certain licensing priorities and benefits.

The agreement still must be finalized by all parties, including the state Cannabis Control Board, according to court documents.

Chris Casacchia can be reached at chris.casacchia@mjbizdaily.com.