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Cannabis Companies Demand Retail Licences In New York 

In a letter to New York’s governor, four cannabis companies have highlighted the mess of New York’s adult-use cannabis programme rollout, calling on the state to issue retail licences. 

New York recently saw the halt of its cannabis licensing process following the implementation of a temporary injunction on the state’s Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) scheme.

Judge Bryant halted the process after four service-disabled military veterans filed a lawsuit against The New York State Cannabis Control Board (CCB) and New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), arguing that they had been unfairly left out of the first round of awarded licences.

While Judge Bryant initially allowed some exceptions for retail cannabis licenses in the state to go forward, he has since rejected exemptions for all 30 retailers that were supposed to open, but has stated that some might be allowed to open on a case-by-case basis.

Now, four cannabis retailers – Curaleaf Holdings, Green Thumb Industries, Acreage Acreage Holdings and PharmaCann – have written to New York Governor Kathy Hochul calling for licences to be issued in order to accelerate the rollout of the state’s industry.

It suggests the OCM has “abused its authority”, and enabled a large number of illegal retail dispensaries to operate in the state.

The letter, obtained by the New York Post, states: “OCM [Office of Cannabis Management] has ignored the collective wisdom of every other state with an adult-use cannabis programme – most recently Maryland – to permit existing medical operators to stand up the adult-use market.

“OCM has abused its authority under New York’s adult use law, played politics with the licensing process, and allowed thousands of unregulated, commercial scale sellers to flood the market with unregulated and unsafe cannabis products. Today, the State’s entire cannabis ecosystem is in dire need of a new direction.

“The state’s ineptitude is endangering New Yorkers who wish to use cannabis safely and legally, while also hurting taxpayers.”

According to the New York Post, signees of the letter – which include Matt Darin, CEO of Curealeaf; Brett Novey, CEO of PharmaCann; Ben Kover, CEO of GTI and Denis Curran, CEO of Acreage – have claimed that issuing licences would double the number of dispensaries.

The letter continues: “For years, New Yorkers have trusted us to build and grow the Empire State’s medical cannabis programme. Now, a decade later, our plea is simple: Direct OCM to authorize registered organizations to begin adult-use cultivation and dispensary operations without delay, so the State’s legal cannabis market can thrive for all participants, creating a reliable revenue and job generating industry for decades to come.”

Business of Cannabis: New York on November 3 will explore the current cannabis retail and licensing infrastructure in New York. Early Bird Tickets are available until midnight on September 8. Get yours here: www.cannabisnewyork.live.

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