A federal judge on Friday blocked efforts to stall New York’s marijuana licensing, as Gov. Kathy Hochul recently blasted the state’s legal cannabis market roll-out as a “disaster.”
Northern District of New York Judge Anne Nardacci, who was appointed by President Biden, rejected the arguments of a pair of entrepreneurs who argued in a lawsuit that New York’s licensing rules unfairly discriminate against out-of-state residents in violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to Politico. Several state recreational cannabis programs have been challenged in federal court under the Dormant Commerce Clause, a constitutional doctrine that prevents states from passing legislation excessively burdening interstate commerce.
The judge cited how thousands of cannabis entrepreneurs have made significant investments in seeking to win business licenses in New York, meaning more damage would come from stifling the roll-out of the state’s adult-use market.
“The balance of equities tips in Defendants’ favor,” Nardacci wrote. “Defendants have laid out the significant harm Plaintiffs’ requested injunction would cause to New York’s adult use cannabis industry.”