New York’s much-anticipated adult-use cannabis retail licensing process has recently been stuck in a haze since August 18, 2023, when a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that the state Office of Cannabis Management’s (“OCM”) discretionary licensing procedure violates New York’s Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”). As Duane Morris previously reported, the judge’s ruling, resulting in an injunction and stoppage of the OCM’s ability to grant additional license applications, is the latest in a number of delays and legal disputes that has New York’s cannabis authorization program far behind schedule. The case involves a group of military veterans who claim New York’s initial round of issuing conditional licenses only to people with prior marijuana convictions, and not also to a wider group of service-disabled veterans and other social equity applications, violated the MRTA. As a result of the injunction, the OCM has appealed the decision and seeks either a temporary stay of the injunction or an expedited appeals court briefing schedule. Continue reading “New York’s Conditional Recreational Cannabis Licensing Process Goes up in Smoke as State Regulators Ask Court to Stay Injunction Order”
On November 21, 2022, the New York State Cannabis Control Board (the “Board”) approved draft regulations under the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”) that address, among other subjects, the scope of “municipal rulemaking,” or the authority retained by cities, counties, towns, and villages to enact “time, place, and manner” restrictions on the operation of adult-use retail dispensaries and on-site consumption sites within their jurisdiction.
Short of opting out from the marijuana retail market altogether, the MRTA permits municipalities to exercise control over the market by passing “local laws and regulations governing the time, place and manner of the operation of licensed adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries and/or on-site consumption site,” so long as the law does not make the operation of such facilities “unreasonably impracticable” as determined by the Board. But while “time, place, and manner” restrictions have a long history in First Amendment jurisprudence, see City of Renton v. Playtime Theatres, 475 U.S. 41, 46 (1986), what do they mean in the context of regulating the marijuana retail market? Continue reading “New York Approves Draft Rules regarding Local Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions”