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State lawmakers will address cannabis market rollout challenges at October hearing

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

New York State’s slow progress in the recreational cannabis market is set for a review as lawmakers schedule a public hearing in Albany on October 30. This comes after the state legalized recreational cannabis in March 2021.


However, the actual rollout has faced legal challenges, particularly in the Finger Lakes region.

A key setback occurred last month when a State Supreme Court judge paused the issuance of new cannabis licenses due to a lawsuit by four military veterans.

These veterans claim that the Office of Cannabis Management’s licensing priority for individuals with prior cannabis convictions is unlawful.


Senator Jeremy Cooney, who heads the Senate Subcommittee on Cannabis and also co-chairs the Marijuana Task Force, has expressed residents’ frustrations over the stalling cannabis rollout. He emphasized the necessity to assess the entire situation, encompassing both upstate areas and New York City.

The upcoming hearing will not only address the veteran-filed lawsuit but also other challenges impacting the cannabis market.

Stakeholders, including cannabis cultivators, retailers, processors, and regulatory agency representatives, are all invited to share their perspectives. The Finger Lakes region, in particular, saw the approval of seven dispensary licenses in May, following the lifting of a court injunction initiated by a Michigan firm.