BUFFALO, N.Y. — A lawsuit is still delaying recreational cannabis dispensaries from opening in Western New York.
On Tuesday, a federal judge denied a motion from the New York Attorney General's Office to alter a preliminary injunction issued by a judge in the Northern District which is what's legally restricting licensing for dispensaries in Western New York for the time being.
In his ruling, the Northern District Court judge denied the request to alter his injunction as well as denied the state's motion to dismiss or stay the case entirely pending appeal. Judge Gary Sharpe said the defendants had not shown enough proof to alter any part of his November ruling.
A federal lawsuit has and continues to prevent licensing in our region and in four others, the Fingers Lakes, Central New York, Brooklyn, and the Mid-Hudson.
The plaintiff claims the application process approved by the Office of Cannabis Management or OCM was unconstitutional and that their application was rejected because one of their principal applicant partners was convicted of a marijuana-related crime outside of New York State.
While the opening of dispensaries in WNY has yet to happen, they are opening in other areas of the state.
The next several 'soft openings' of retail cannabis locations will happen over the next 45 days, according to Cannabis Control Board member Reuben McDaniel. With one in Queens, another in Albany, a third shop he said is coming to Manhattan as well as the closest store to Western New York so far, Ithaca.
While it is located in the injunction area, the Ithaca shop falls outside the judge's ruling because it will be run by a non-profit an OCM spokesperson confirmed to 2 On Your Side.
View the full ruling below: