Judge issues temporary halt to new cannabis licenses

ALBANY, N.Y. — A state Supreme Court judge has halted any new cannabis licenses from being awarded in New York.

The judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday after four military veterans sued New York State’s Office of Cannabis Management. They say prioritizing licenses for people with prior cannabis convictions — and not issuing licenses to disabled veterans and other minority groups — violates state law.

According to the decision, no more licenses can be given out until the lawsuit proceeds.

The suit argues regulators overstepped their authority when they created the licensing category for people with convictions — because that decision wasn’t approved by the state Legislature.

A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

State Senator Jeremy Cooney responded to the license ban Monday, saying he’s deeply disappointed in the court’s decision.

“We must focus on awarding non-conditional licenses, which will prioritize social equity candidates and allow more businesses to open,” Cooney said.