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This guest column is from Michael Gerterman, CEO of NugHub NY, a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary licensee. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of NY Cannabis Insider.

Dear Fellow New Yorkers,

Today, I write to you not just as an individual business owner but as a member of the larger community of Conditional Adult-use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licensees, many of whom stand ready to operate but are sidelined by ongoing legal battles.

The legalization and regulation of adult-use cannabis in our state represents monumental strides toward social justice and economic growth. However, this progress is being thwarted by a small group of plaintiffs who, under the guise of seeking ‘fair competition,’ are inflicting irreparable harm upon law-abiding businesses.

These plaintiffs claim their actions aim to prevent ‘irreparable harm’ due to potential real estate conflicts. In reality, their tactics exacerbate this very harm by stalling the entire licensing process, affecting not just one business but all CAURD licensees who have complied with existing regulations. Their case could have been brought over a year ago, making their timing of filing now, so close to October when they would have been able to apply anyway, quite suspicious.

Adding to the irony is the fact that while we, the CAURD community, patiently await judicial and administrative resolution, the illicit cannabis market thrives unchecked.

While approximately 2,000 illegal shops operate freely — some of which occupy the very real estate claimed to be desired by the plaintiffs — law-abiding businesses are held in limbo, unable to serve the communities they are a part of.

The court has not been unfair, and we understand the regulatory hurdles the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) faces. It is the plaintiffs, however, who seem to have lost sight of the bigger picture. By leveraging this moment to obstruct and delay, they are not only threatening the livelihoods of their competitors but also undermining the broader goals of legalization.

We are law-abiding New York State businesses ready to contribute to our local communities and economy. We call upon the plaintiffs to reconsider their obstructionist tactics and for the public, local politicians, media, and business groups to scrutinize this ongoing issue. Fairness and justice must prevail for the well-being and progress of all involved.

 Michael Gerterman, CEO of CAURD-licensee NugHub NY, calls upon the group of veterans suing the state to reconsider their actions in a new guest column.  Read More