High-profile settlement talks over the future of New York’s cannabis dispensary licences have come to an abrupt halt, leaving the decision in the hands of a judge.
Talks between New York’s Attorney General’s Office and the Coalition for Access to Regulated and Safe Cannabis, which represents a number of medical cannabis companies and social equity groups, began after an August 11 court hearing, giving the parties two weeks to reach an agreement.
The groups had hoped to settle two separate legal disputes filed by the cannabis trade group and service-disabled veterans, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Both lawsuits argue that state regulators unconstitutionally prioritised people impacted by past cannabis prohibition enforcement in awarding initial dispensary licences.
Specifically, New York’s 2021 legalisation law enabling those with cannabis offences and their immediate family to apply for licences ahead of other applicants, including veterans and medical cannabis MSOs, has been called into question.
Last week, Justice Kevin Bryant issued a temporary restraining order blocking new dispensary licences statewide, calling on the attorneys in both cases to reach a speedy compromise to avoid a potentially lengthy legal battle.
On August 25, he is expected to consider a request to issue an injunction against the state, set to determine whether the ban on dispensaries stays in place as the lawsuits progress.