New York Judge Permits Three More Cannabis Shops to Open Under Injunction

That will grow New York’s legal marijuana retail landscape from 23 shops to 28.

New York state Judge Kevin Bryant on Friday signed off on three new orders that will allow a trio of licensed cannabis retail shops to open in coming weeks, in addition to the two announced earlier that same day, according to court records.

The three retailers that won permission from Bryant include:

Air City Cannabis LLC, which is licensed for a retail shop in the Mohawk Valley
Gotham Buds LLC, which is licensed for a retail shop in Manhattan
North Country Roots LLC, which is licensed for a retail shop in the North Country region

The three new exemptions follow two issued early Friday for ConBud LLC and Kush Culture Industry LLC (DBA Terp Bros).

That will grow the legal marijuana retail landscape from 23 shops to 28, perhaps within a few weeks, depending on how fast the shops can open for business.

Attorneys connected to the case last week told Green Market Report there could be up to 12 exemptions coming, which would bring the total number of legal cannabis dispensaries to 35, which is still far below what the New York market needs in order to meet demand. It’s unclear yet when more may open.

Bryant issued a court order in August that froze all marijuana retail permitting at the time, essentially putting 400-some conditional adult use retail dispensary (CAURD) license winners on hold for an indefinite amount of time. But Bryant also stipulated at the time that any of the CAURDs that were ready to open as of Aug. 7 could be granted exemptions to the injunction.

Friday’s exemptions were the first allowed by Bryant, following weeks of back-and-forth with the state Office of Cannabis Management over how many CAURDs should be allowed to move forward.

Meanwhile, the OCM has opened the universal cannabis application window as of Oct. 4, meaning that anyone can now file applications with the state for retail, cultivation, processing, microbusiness or distribution permits until Dec. 4.

But the underlying litigation that sparked the injunction has yet to be resolved, and questions still swirl around how exactly the OCM will proceed regarding the 463 total CAURD permits the agency has already awarded, given that only 28 now have been given permission to launch operations.

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