Another hurdle for conditional cannabis retail licenses

[anvplayer video=”5188059″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A judge’s order Monday that New York temporarily stop giving out new cannabis licenses is causing concern for people hoping to open dispensaries. State Supreme Court Judge Kevin Bryant made the decision after four disabled military veterans sued New York’s Office of Cannabis Management.

News10NBC hears why some see this as a major roadblock.

Only a handful of licenses to sell recreational cannabis have been given out in our region. People who are still waiting for one worry this lawsuit will slow down the process even more.

“We cannot wait any longer,” said Britni Tantalo, co-owner of Flower City Dispensary. She continued, “I think most of us are sustaining barely, and probably in the red at this point.”

Along with her husband Jayson Tantalo, they have invested time and money into their business.

“The struggles that we face positions us not favorable in waiting any longer,” said Jayson. He continued, “We’re you know pushing for New York legal. So, it’s very difficult to swallow this.”

They haven’t opened yet, and don’t know when they will while a judge considers the veterans’ lawsuit. They charge that the state is favoring convicted drug felons over military vets, and other marginalized groups when awarding licenses. State Senator Jeremy Cooney, Chair of The Senate Subcommittee on Cannabis said he’s frustrated by the judge’s restraining order and the slow rollout altogether.

“We need to get these out the door. That’s going to allow the industry to flourish and the social equity candidates, again the Black and Brown population, women, disabled veterans, distressed farmers, they should be prioritized in this process,” said Cooney.

For now, the Tantalos say they will keep investing in a business that hasn’t yet offered any return.

“I think that New York has tremendous opportunity and potential from the cannabis market. It’s trying to figure out this roadblock, or delay, is just a complete hindrance and you know will really jeopardize that potential for us all,” said Britni Tantalo.

A hearing on this case will be held on Friday. We will continue to follow this story for you.