The New York State Cannabis Control Board agreed on terms to settle two lawsuits challenging aspects of the state’s cannabis rollout, officials said Monday.
The resolution, officially adopted Monday, addresses lawsuits brought in August by Carmine Fiore and his associates, as well as the Coalition for Access to Regulated & Safe Cannabis, both filed in the New York State Supreme Court of Albany County.
The plaintiffs had raised concerns over the administration and implementation of the state’s cannabis laws by the Office of Cannabis Management and its leadership, including Executive Director Chris Alexander and Chairwoman Tremaine Wright.
Around 436 professional licensees had business planning halted due to a retail injunction issued under the challenge, according to Wright.
“Licensees throughout the supply chain have similarly been impacted by the delay of the retail rollout,” the chairwoman said in prepared remarks at the board meeting Monday.
She added, “It is also the engine that New York state is relying upon to push product that our cultivators have grown into the marketplace.”
Under the terms of the settlement, which remain mostly confidential, the board has agreed to an undisclosed settlement agreement and stipulation of dismissal for both lawsuits, effectively ending the litigation.
Specifics of the settlement have not been disclosed.
“All parties to litigation need to approve a stipulation of settlement before it can become final, but the terms of the settlement still remain confidential at this stage,” OCM’s general counsel, Linda Baldwin, said during the meeting.
Baldwin added, “In terms of what happens next, there will be communication going out to the CAURD provisional licensees explaining the importance of this step and what to expect.”
According to Baldwin, the plaintiffs will “submit the violations” to the court for review and approval in order for the agreements to become effective. Afterward, the current injunction will be lifted and the CAURD program is expected to move forward.
New York’s adult-use program rollout has seen its fair share of misery over the past year, with analysts and investors excluding it from market coverage lately due to mounting uncertainties.