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Federal judge leaves injunction in place barring NY from issuing cannabis licenses in five locales

Feb 02, 2023 12:45 am

Janet Gramza is reporting for The Buffalo News a federal judge in New York has refused to lift an injunction barring the state from issuing retail cannabis licenses in Western New York and four other regions statewide. U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe ruled on January 30, upholding his November 11 injunction against the state’s conditional dispensary program after a Michigan company complained it was discriminatory. The decision means the injunction will continue to stop the state from issuing dispensary licenses to applicants in the Finger Lakes, Central New York, Western New York, Mid-Hudson and Brooklyn regions. Sharpe issued the injunction last fall after Michigan-based Variscite NY One challenged the state Office of Cannabis Management’s rule to give preference for dispensary licenses to state residents who had been convicted of a cannabis crime. Variscite is 51 percent owned by a person with a cannabis conviction in Michigan and no real connection to New York. But the company alleges that the OCM’s rule violates a federal policy called the dormant commerce clause, which prevents states from passing legislation designed to bar imports or exports of legal goods to or from other states. Read the full story in The Buffalo News.

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