NEW YORK — When the state was preparing for recreational pot sales, it drafted licensing rules that favored in-state operators.
Now a judge says it may not be illegal.
An expert broke down the legal issues with CBS2’s Tony Aiello on Monday.
To promote social justice, New York is reserving 150 prescription drug licenses for people who have been adversely affected by past bans on pot.led by Coss Marte.
“I was thirteen years old when I was arrested for marijuana. To see today when I open a dispensary and I sell weed legally, it’s just, I don’t think about it,” said CONBUD founder Coss Marte.
But now a judge is setting the road.
“I think the program is vulnerable,” said attorney Lauren Rudick.
Rudick advises clients who apply through New York’s CAURD program — Adult-Use Retail Properties.
CAURD’s guidelines require applicants to be eligible under New York law and “have a significant role in the state of New York.”
In a ruling, Federal Judge Gary Sharpe said it may violate the United States Constitution.
“New York’s CAURD program requires applicants to have strong ties to New York, so they found protections and restrictions against out-of-state residents for this program,” Rudick said.
The law was challenged by a man convicted of a pot offense in Michigan. A judge in New York said until the challenge was decided that the license could not be issued in Brooklyn, Westchester, and other counties where the Michigan man applied for one.
“What we do know is that it creates a precedent for other people to come forward and allege some kind of violation of the law.
It’s unclear how this challenge will affect the state’s goal of opening recreational pot shops before the end of the year.
The judge said state attorneys “didn’t have a good answer” when asked to defend certain aspects of the licensing scheme. The U.S. Department of Cannabis Control will not comment on pending litigation.