NY Cannabis Agencies Sued By Medical Marijuana Providers

The lawsuit claims that state cannabis regulators exceeded their legal authority

A coalition that includes some of New York’s medical marijuana companies sued state cannabis regulators Thursday in an effort to open up licensing to all retail dispensary applicants immediately.

The lawsuit, filed in state court in Albany, claims that state cannabis regulators exceeded their legal authority when they opened the initial application pool in August only to people with past pot convictions or their relatives, instead to everyone. The lawsuit names as defendants the state’s Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management, as well as top officials.

Offering first dibs to individuals with past pot convictions or their relatives was an attempt to create opportunities for those who have been most adversely affected by pot policing, which resulted in Black and Latino people being arrested at disproportionately high rates.

According to a memo filed with the lawsuit, the regulatory cannabis boards “overstepped their rule-making authority,” and as a result it “indefinitely postponed the licensing of the hundreds of additional dispensaries necessary to satisfy consumer demand and to displace the illicit markets.”

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