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By Hazey Taughtme
In a groundbreaking move, the NY CAURD cannabis licensing has been temporarily halted. This comes in light of recent legal challenges against New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) regarding the licensing process under the Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) program.
A Direct Response to the Lawsuit
State Supreme Court Judge Kevin Bryant’s response to last week’s lawsuit was swift and decisive. The judge issued a temporary restraining order that prohibits the OCM from processing or granting any further recreational marijuana licenses under the CAURD program. This decision primarily addresses the concern that disabled veterans “and other minority groups the law prioritizes” have been largely sidelined from obtaining these licenses.
Key Details on the Legal Front
The restraining order will remain in effect until the court provides further directives. The next significant date is Friday, when a hearing in Ulster County will further evaluate the arguments presented in the lawsuit.
The Plaintiffs’ Stance
The four veterans at the heart of the lawsuit have collectively dedicated over two decades to the U.S. military. Their primary grievance is against the CAURD program’s unwarranted expansion, which, in their perspective, lacks proper foundation in the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). The suit emphasizes that the program, which was originally designed to grant 150 licenses, has ballooned to 463 in a mere fortnight.
CAURD Program’s Current Positioning
The CAURD program specifically targets prospective entrepreneurs with past cannabis convictions under older drug laws. It also extends its benefits to individuals who have relatives with prior convictions. The recent explosion in the number of licenses issued indicates a potential deviation from its initial purpose, as highlighted by the plaintiffs.
With the NY CAURD cannabis licensing paused, the state’s budding industry is keenly awaiting the upcoming Friday hearing. The industry hopes for a resolution that emphasizes justice and equity in line with the MRTA.