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New lawsuit may further slow rollout of cannabis retail stores

Jan 30, 2024 12:21 pm

David Robinson reports in the Poughkeepskie Journal that New York’s slow rollout of adult-use cannabis retail stores may be further delayed with a new lawsuit alleging the state is discriminating against white men in its licensing of stores. An Onondaga County-based company, Valencia Ag, filed an anti-discrimination lawsuit in federal court last week, claiming in part that state laws and regulators unjustly favor non-white races and ethnicities in awarding cannabis business licenses. When legislators legalized recreational cannabis in 2021, they prioritized business licenses for those harmed by prior decades of racially biased enforcement of cannabis prohibition. The application process for retail licenses is now open to all applicants, but New York continues to favor social and economic equity when considering licenses. Valencia Ag wants unspecified damages, and is currently paying $2,000 per month to lease business space while it waits to get a license. Read more about this story in the Poughkeepskie Journal.