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Federal Judge Blocks Attempt to Halt New York Marijuana Licensing

Federal Judge Blocks Attempt to Halt New York Marijuana Licensing
Credits: Crain's New York Business

In a recent development, a federal judge delivered a setback to efforts aimed at halting the cannabis licensing process in New York.

Despite facing legal challenges, the troubled rollout of the state’s recreational cannabis market will proceed following the judge’s ruling on a lawsuit brought by two entrepreneurs.

These entrepreneurs argued that New York’s licensing regulations unjustly favor in-state residents, thereby violating the U.S. Constitution. They sought a court order to pause the licensing process.

Federal Judge Blocks Attempt to Halt New York Marijuana Licensing

New York Marijuana (Credits: The Seattle Times)

The decision was made by Judge Anne Nardacci of the Northern District of New York, who was appointed to the bench by President Joe Biden. She rejected the entrepreneurs’ arguments, stating that the greater harm would be inflicted by impeding the launch of the state’s adult-use cannabis market.

Judge Nardacci, in her ruling, emphasized that the balance of equities favored the defendants. She pointed out that thousands of cannabis entrepreneurs had made substantial investments in their pursuit of obtaining business licenses.

Halting the licensing process, as requested by the plaintiffs, would result in significant harm to New York’s adult-use cannabis industry.

The lawsuit’s attorney, Jeffrey Jensen, has not provided an immediate response regarding whether the plaintiffs intend to appeal the decision.

This ruling comes amidst a challenging landscape for New York’s cannabis legalization efforts. While the state aims to establish a regulated recreational cannabis market, legal hurdles and disputes continue to emerge.

The contention in this particular case revolved around allegations of discriminatory licensing rules favoring in-state residents. Despite the setback in court, the broader cannabis industry is closely watching how New York navigates the complexities of legalization, hoping for a stable and fair regulatory environment.

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