New York cannabis board votes to settle license-blocking suit

Members of the New York State Cannabis Control Board recently voted to allow the state Office of Cannabis Management to reach a settlement in a federal suit that's prevented the opening of retail dispensaries in half the state — contributing to a sluggish industry rollout.

A preliminary injunction has halted the board from issuing new retail licenses in the Finger Lakes, Central New York, Western New York, the Mid-Hudson region, and Brooklyn for nearly seven months.

Board members and officials in the state office continue to finalize a settlement agreement with Variscite NY One. The owner of the cannabis retailer filed suit in November after the state office denied the company's application for one of the state's first 150 licenses to open a recreational cannabis shop.

"Today, the board voted to authorize the Office of Cannabis Management to make the settlement," Aaron Ghitleman, spokesman for the Office of Cannabis Management, said in a statement. "When it's finalized, we'll have more to share."

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