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420 with CNW — Court Order Halts NY Marijuana Dispensary Openings

A New York court has blocked the official launch of marijuana dispensaries in the state following a decision by a judge to halt the retail licensing process. The court sided with a lawsuit filed by disabled veterans who argued that New York’s licensing policy, which prioritizes entrepreneurs who were harmed by cannabis criminalization, is unconstitutional.

Social equity has been a key aspect in many state marijuana programs in the United States, with most programs including provisions meant to reinvest in individuals and communities that were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Individuals from Black and Brown communities were and still are significantly more likely to be arrested for cannabis.

Marijuana enforcement caused significant long-term harm to these communities, and social equity policies are designed to allow these communities to profit from the lucrative cannabis industry. In New York, these provisions included providing prioritized licensing access to individuals who were harmed by the failed drug war.

However, the lawsuit against cannabis regulators claimed that prioritized access to licensing is unconstitutional and asked the court to halt the retail license issuing process. New York Supreme Court Justice Kevin Bryan ruled in favor of the disabled veterans, stating in his order that the licensing program could cause “irreparable injury, loss, or damage” if it moved forward.

This licensing program would have given certain victims of the drug war and nonprofit organizations that serve former convicts priority access to the first retail dispensary licenses. The state also created a special program to pair entrepreneurs with prior convictions with capital and real estate. However, close to two and a half years after New York legalized cannabis, less than 20 businesses started through the program are open.

Even though the state prioritized people with past cannabis convictions or family members of those individuals, the 2021 cannabis legalization law defined social and economic equity applicants as women-owned businesses, service-disabled businesses and minority-owned businesses, as well as individuals from communities that bore the brunt of the war on drugs.

This isn’t the first time cannabis regulators in New York have faced a lawsuit. A similar lawsuit filed by a coalition of medical cannabis businesses in March claimed that the state overstepped its authority by making the first pool of licenses available only to people with cannabis convictions or their relatives. The memo filed with the suit claimed that the New York Office of Cannabis Management and the Cannabis Control Board along with their top officials “overstepped their rule-making authority.”

Another suit from November caused a judge to temporarily halt the issuing of cannabis dispensary licenses in Brooklyn and certain parts of New York.

All these legal bottlenecks are hamstringing many companies, including ancillary ones such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX), that would in one way or the other tap into the opportunities presented by a thriving cannabis industry in New York State.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACTX

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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