KINGSTON N.Y. (WTEN) — A ruling coming out of the Ulster County Courthouse left some recreational cannabis applicants with more questions than answers on Friday morning. The hearing was in response to four service-disabled veterans who claim the application process unfairly kept them from opening shop.
Just a few weeks ago, Supreme Court Justice, Kevin Bryant, issued a temporary restraining order that halted all cannabis licensing in New York. On Friday, Bryant lifted that injunction, but only for 30 licensees. “As such, those licenses identified by the office of cannabis management will be deemed exempt from the injunction,” said Bryant.
Those applicants were deemed “ready to be open” through the Cannabis Control Board and municipality where they’ll open shop, but that doesn’t account for the 400 others trying to open up a dispensary, including Scott General, “We didn’t get a whole lot of answers, that’s for sure.”
General was approved for a license on June 15. He was hoping to open shop in the Finger Lakes region, but now he has more work to do. “I gotta get everything together, all my expenses and just follow these guidelines that they want … these hoops to jump through,” he said.
Applicants like Scott can be exempt from the injunction if they can prove that they need the dispensary to survive financially and can’t wait. Jorge Luis Vasquez, an attorney for CAURD applicants explained, “The Judge’s August 18 order outlined certain factors and our job as attorneys representing CAURD licenses is to ensure that our clients are protected and that they fit within an exemption so we need to work to make sure they’re in line with the judge’s order.”
The Office of Cannabis Management said it will apply for exemptions on behalf of provisional licensees. In a statement they said in part: “While today’s ruling is a disappointment, we are committed to working with the Cannabis Control Board to find a way forward that does not derail our efforts to bring the most equitable cannabis market in the nation to life.” Another hearing is scheduled regarding the lawsuit for September 15.