Finger Lakes area one step closer to selling adult use recreational cannabis

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Those looking to open up marijuana dispensaries in our area may finally soon get the green light. That’s because a lawsuit blocking the state from giving out licenses in the Finger Lakes has now been settled. Our region was the only one left in New York under the injunction. It still requires approval from a judge. 

News10NBC breaks down the settlement, and what it means for small business owners looking to open up shop.

Those hoping to open legal weed shops in the Finger Lakes region have been waiting and waiting. Our area is the last to go through this licensing process because of that injunction, but soon the state will start deciding who gets the first round of licenses to sell legal marijuana. 

“At least the program can be opened up at 100%, and all the licensees could be awarded at this time,” said Jayson Tantalo.

For months now Tantalo has been waiting and wondering if he, and his wife Britni, will ever get their conditional adult use retail dispensary license so they can open Flower City Dispensary.

“It allows us the ability to give our community legal, safe, regulated cannabis,” said Tantalo.

Last year, the state was sued by Veriscite New York One, which applied for a license to open a weed dispensary in the Finger Lakes region. In the lawsuit the Michigan based company accused New York State of discriminating against out-of-state businesses by prioritizing dispensary licenses for people who have marijuana convictions within New York. Tuesday the Board recommended that the lawsuit be settled with Veriscite New York One.

“The board has seen the confidential settlement agreement which will be filed later this week at which time it will become public, but one of the conditions of the settlement was to grant the plaintiff in that case the one that applied for a card license, an adult use license when those licenses becomes available,” said Linda Baldwin, General Counsel for the Board.

Tantalo says he’s one of 43 potential licensees in the Finger Lakes area, but only 18 licenses will be awarded here next month. He’s hoping to be one of them and open a brick and mortar shop.

“You know we’re hoping to open it in the Monroe County area, specifically Rochester. Downtown somewhere. You know if we’re lucky enough to get a license, we want to bring cannabis to our community, and have you know an effective way to achieve getting safe you know regulated cannabis,” said Tantalo.

State Senator Jeremy Cooney, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Cannabis says, “Hopefully, we can put this roadblock for the Finger Lakes region behind us and focus on creating safe and legal access to recreational cannabis for adults in greater Rochester.”

The Cannabis Control Board is expected to announce who will get the licenses here in our region at its next meeting in June, if a judge has signed off on the settlement by then.