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Judge rejects New York challenge to suit delaying rec marijuana store openings

A federal judge rejected New York’s effort to toss a lawsuit that’s been delaying the opening of recreational marijuana stores across the state, including in Brooklyn.

That means the indefinite wait for the issuance of 63 of the state’s planned 150 adult-use retail licenses will continue.


In November, a Michigan man named Kenneth Gay sued the state Office of Cannabis Management on behalf of his company, Variscite.

The suit alleges that the requirement that cannabis retail applicants have both a “significant presence” in New York and a criminal record for a marijuana-related conviction under state law creates irreparable damage to the company.

It’s one of several marijuana social equity programs Gay is challenging across the country, including Los Angeles.

Would-be CUARD license holders in New York must choose from among 14 geographical regions across the state when submitting their applications. Variscite’s top choice was Finger Lakes.

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