Only 30 conditional adult use retail dispensary licensees in New York would be eligible to open in coming weeks under conditions outlined in a preliminary injunction issued by state judge Kevin Bryant recently, state officials noted in a court filing on Tuesday.
That means the current number of 23 operational marijuana retailers in the state could jump to 53 in the near future, if all 30 successfully launch. That’s out of 463 CAURD licenses approved prior to the injunction issued by Bryant, which froze all future permit processing by the New York Office of Cannabis Management. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday morning.
The other 410 CAURD recipients will have to wait until they can either prove to Bryant that they’re eligible to open under the terms of the injunction or until there’s some type of resolution to the lawsuit.
Bryant is overseeing a lawsuit filed by four service-disabled military veterans, who took the OCM and the New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB) to court earlier this month, alleging they had been wrongly left out of the initial marijuana retail licensing rounds.
Bryant sided with the plaintiffs in the case, first issuing a temporary restraining order, and then upgrading that to a full-fledged preliminary injunction as of Friday, which forced regulators to cease processing or awarding more retail licenses. The judge also indicated in his injunction ruling that he believed the odds were on the veterans’ side in the case and that they were likely to prevail as the case unfolds.
“This injunction does not apply to any licensees who, prior to August 7, 2023, met all requirements for licensing, including but not limited to site plan approval from the CCB and, where applicable, from local municipalities,” Bryant wrote in the injunction order.
But he also left open an option for more of the CAURD licensees to open for business, noting that other licensees can apply directly to the court for exemptions to the injunction.
Bryant ordered the OCM to furnish him with a list of eligible CAURD licensees that are ready to open, and according to an affidavit from OCM First Deputy Director Patrick Mckeage, there are 30 such licensees.
The list includes six delivery services and 24 storefronts, with:
Six in Manhattan
Five in Queens
One each in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Long Island
The rest of the permitted stores are scattered around other parts of the state.
“The attached list of CAURD licensees … includes only such licensees who, prior to August 7, 2023, met all requirements for licensing but had not yet received approval to open a retail dispensary location,” Mckeage said in his affidavit.
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