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New Yorks Cannabis Regulators Face Fresh Lawsuit as ‘Immediate Future of Cannabis Industry Remains Uncertain’

Another new lawsuit has been filed against New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Cannabis Control Board (CCB), this time led by cannabis ecommerce platform Leafly.

The lawsuit, which was brought last week by a group of petitioners including Leafly, Stage One Cannabis and Rosanna St John, challenges regulations which significantly restrict the ability of New York dispensaries and consumers to use third-party websites which aggregate information about cannabis products.

It marks the latest in a string of lawsuits against the state’s cannabis regulators, which are facing harsh criticism from both large cannabis businesses and independent operators who argue they’ve not been given the head start they were promised.

The latest legal case, which according to Leafly has seen the court ‘block the enforcement of the challenged regulations against Leafly and fully operational licensed cannabis dispensaries in New York State, is set to add further complications and possible delays to the already messy roll out of the legal industry.

“We are very pleased with the order, but remain concerned that the Office of Cannabis Management’s stance towards third-party platforms deprives consumers and licensed cannabis retailers with important tools that help them navigate legal cannabis in New York state,” said Yoko Miyashita, CEO of Leafly.

Join us at Business of Cannabis: New York on November 3 at The Williamsburg Hotel for a day focused on retail, investment and policy. Tickets on sale now: www.cannabisnewyork.live.

It comes just weeks after the CCB held a landmark but ‘very heated’ meeting in which a number of key resolutions were passed, including opening up the market to large medical cannabis operators.

David Hess, President and Co-Founder of Tress Capital, told Business of Cannabis he believes the ‘immediate future of the cannabis industry will continue to be uncertain and plagued with hurdles for the thousands of New Yorkers waiting patiently to join the industry’.

He explained that many cannabis farmers and small businesses are now ‘having to come to terms with a new reality that has them going toe-to-toe with some of largest RO’s in the industry much sooner than they had accounted for’.

“The slow rollout has harmed many of the early licensees. Farmers are furious after spending large sums of capital cultivating THC crops thinking they would have first movers advantage having to now watch as the hundreds of pounds they grew and carefully cured begin to degrade and ultimately rot because there weren’t (and still aren’t) enough legal dispensaries for them to sell to.”

“There are CAURD licensees that are close to becoming insolvent because they have had to pay their bills while being jerked around by the OCM, CCB, DASNY and others that made promises they never kept.

“With the prospect of cannabis rescheduling around the corner, RO’s will have deeper pockets once they are unshackled from years of 280e restraints. In the meantime, the illicit cannabis market is thriving like never before and will continue to do so.”

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