Hear the Latest News About Medicinal Cannabis Operators Sue NY Regulators and Lifting Firearms Prohibition for Medicinal Marijuana Users Will Have Many Consequences

In today’s cannabis news, learn more about medical marijuana operators in New York who have filed a complaint against the state’s authorities in an effort to obtain opening licenses for all retail dispensary applicants. Meanwhile, The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a statement with a federal appeals court in a case concerning the government’s prohibition on medical marijuana users carrying weapons.

Medicinal Cannabis Operators Sue NY Regulators

Original Source: Medical Cannabis Operators File Complaint Against New York’s Regulators

Medical cannabis operators in New York filed a complaint against state authorities to get opening licenses for all retail dispensary applicants.

According to Syracuse.com, the Coalition for Access to Regulated & Safe Cannabis (CARSC), which includes New York’s medical cannabis operators Acreage Holdings, PharmaCann, Green Thumb Industries, and Curaleaf, as well as two hopeful dispensary owners, sued New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and Cannabis Control Board (CCB).

On March 16, a complaint was filed in Albany County Supreme Court alleging illegal overreach and policymaking, agency abdication, and damage to New Yorkers’ health and safety.

The coalition claims that the OCM and CCB violated the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which legalized cannabis in New York in March 2021, by failing to grant all applicants equitable access to retail dispensary licenses.

The Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) program, which restricted eligibility to people with prior cannabis-related convictions, at least two years of successful company operation, and a “substantial presence” in the state, exceeded the regulators’ power, according to the lawsuit. According to the coalition, this restricted dispensary licenses to a select group.

According to the claim, the regulators “improperly assumed the authority of the Legislature to impose their own rules” and “postponed indefinitely the licensing of hundreds of new dispensaries essential to satisfy customer demand” by establishing the CAURD program.

New York’s cannabis authorities made multiple mistakes during regulatory implementation, according to the coalition. These include a delay of 20 months in proposing marketplace regulations, still unfinished, consistent violation of state law through changing guidance for growers and processors, unfulfilled promises of state-subsidized real estate and loans, cultivation of large quantities of cannabis by growers without a retail infrastructure to sell it, failure to publish a required social and economic equity plan under MRTA, and an attack on the state’s registered organization.

Cannabis regulators’ activities have had various detrimental effects, according to the coalition. According to them, regulators’ passivity has allowed the illicit market to develop, putting medical patients and adult-use users at risk and depriving communities affected by the War on Drugs of vital tax money.

According to a recent report commissioned by the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association (NYMCIA), which includes medical marijuana operators like Columbia Care, Cresco Labs, and Curaleaf, the regulators’ actions have jeopardized New Yorkers’ health and safety while undermining MRTA’s goal of creating a well-regulated cannabis program that benefits all state residents.

Implementing legal cannabis market regulations was difficult.

Thousands of unlicensed cannabis enterprises sprang across the state. New York regulators tried to shut them down with cease-and-desist letters and law enforcement, but failed.

Nowadays, approximately 1,400 unauthorized enterprises operate throughout the state. Over seven years, this may cost $2.6 billion in tax income.

The CCB has issued 66 CAURD permits, while New York has only four licensed dispensaries.

However, the CCB and OCM recently announced plans to double CAURD licenses to 300.

Thus, the coalition is asking a judge to declare OCM’s CAURD license unconstitutional and outside the agency’s legal power, and it wants regulators to take legal action against all illegal cannabis stores and open the licensing process for adult-use retail dispensaries to all applicants, including registered organizations and those who qualify under the MRTA’s social and economic equity provisions.

Multistate medicinal cannabis operators are frustrated by New York’s market entry restrictions.

In contrast to other jurisdictions, New York prioritizes retail licenses for drug war victims.

Current medicinal cannabis licensees who want to enter New York’s authorized adult-use market are concerned.

For $20 million per operator, medicinal cannabis providers might sell cannabis outside of the medical program. Yet, the medical marijuana sector is negotiating a cheaper charge.

OCM’s executive director Chris Alexander said, “We are not anti-Big Cannabis,” on the Open Society Foundation’s progress report live stream the day after the lawsuit was announced.

“Nationally, a few have dominated. New York is competitive, but we want people here. You can’t absorb the market. We’ll have big enterprises. Small enterprises will grow, I hope “CelebStoner published his statement.

The CAURD program has sued New York’s cannabis regulator before.

Variscite NY One Inc. sued New York State in September 2022 after cannabis officials denied their CAURD program application. CAURD restrictions discriminate against out-of-state residents and violate interstate commerce, according to the corporation.

Lifting Firearms Prohibition for Medicinal Marijuana Users Will Have Many Consequences

Original Source: Justice Department Says Ending Gun Ban For Medical Marijuana Patients Would Have ‘Wide-Ranging Consequences’ In New Federal Court Brief

A federal appeals court has received a brief from the U.S. Department of Justice about the government’s ban on medical marijuana patients owning firearms.

The DOJ’s brief submitted on Wednesday echoes arguments it made in earlier papers, including in a federal district court that dismissed the plaintiffs’ lawsuit. Yet, the latest Biden administration brief emphasizes the “wide-ranging repercussions” of a plaintiffs’ victory.

Florida medical cannabis patients are suing to overturn the guns restriction, claiming it violates the Second Amendment.

The agency stated that oral argument was required since plaintiffs “attack the validity of a longstanding section of the Gun Control Act.” DOJ had previously moved for dismissal, but it appears they’re now acknowledging the appeals court’s need to carefully consider the issue.

Last month, a different federal court found that marijuana customers’ gun ban is unlawful in a case that’s also being appealed.

The plaintiffs’ claim in the Florida case relies on a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a New York Second Amendment case that generally raised the bar for gun control policies.

Such restrictions must be consistent with the Second Amendment’s 1791 ratification, according to the ruling.

Plaintiffs argue that state-registered medicinal marijuana patients should not be prohibited from owning guns. DOJ counters that alcohol-related firearm prohibitions are similar.

“Although drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and fentanyl were not in prevalent usage at the foundation, contemporaries realized that alcohol rendered users unable to safely bear arms and saw people who routinely became intoxicated as threatening the social and political order.”

The department also suggests that if the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit accepts the plaintiffs’ position, it would prevent the government from banning firearms for all persistent drug users.

According to the brief, “While plaintiffs desire to use marijuana, their arguments on this score are not restricted to marijuana and would instead call doubt on Congress’s ability to disarm criminal users of any controlled narcotic, including cocaine, fentanyl, or methamphetamines.”

DOJ has made additional surprising historical comparisons to support the cannabis patient weapons ban. It contrasted such patients to mentally ill people, panhandlers, Catholics, and others who were previously denied firearms.

“Just as immaturity and mental disease rob individuals of reason, so can intoxicating substances,” the federal government wrote in its newest brief. It mentioned “children,” “lunatics,” and “idiots” who had their rights restricted.

DOJ stated that plaintiffs’ claim will have far-reaching effects. Such finding is unjustified by Second Amendment doctrine or history.

This case’s defendants have changed their arguments over time. This year, the agency seemed to back off its previous claims that cannabis makes people more likely to commit violent crimes, but it did warn that marijuana users are innately too dangerous to carry guns because they’re breaching federal law, even if it’s a misdemeanor.

The federal appeals case’s next stage is plaintiffs’ brief, due next month.

Former Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), now Florida Democratic Party chairperson, first brought the complaint against DOJ last year. Since leaving office, her GOP replacement hasn’t joined the lawsuit.

The Justice Department’s updated brief includes some new points and references, but it does not mention the separate federal court’s ruling last month that the guns ban for cannabis consumers is unlawful.

The administration challenged that verdict to the Tenth Circuit this month.

Cannabis advocates claim that ending the federal ban isn’t about gun rights. It’s a constitutional and safety issue.

According to supporters of the Florida complaint, the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau (ATF) requirement encourages cannabis consumers to lie on the form, buy a gun on the black market, or renounce their right to bear guns.

ATF issued an advice in 2020 requiring gun vendors to complete federal background checks on all unlicensed gun buyers in Michigan since the state’s cannabis laws have allowed “habitual marijuana users” and other disqualified individuals to get firearms unlawfully.

A Conservative Pennsylvania lawmaker recently encouraged law enforcement to remove state impediments to gun ownership for cannabis consumers, focusing on medicinal marijuana patients, following the federal court’s verdict last month.

A major House committee in Maryland held a hearing last month on a plan to protect gun rights for medical cannabis patients.

In January, a GOP lawmaker proposed allowing medical cannabis patients to buy and own firearms. The 116th Congress introduced the legislation, but it failed to pass.

Summary of Today’s Cannabis Health News

Overall, Medical marijuana businesses in New York have petitioned state officials for permission to build retail stores. The case, which was filed on March 16 in Albany County Supreme Court, claims that the agencies in question have engaged in “unconstitutional overreach and policymaking,” have failed to fulfill their responsibilities, and have endangered the health and safety of New York residents.

FInally, in a case challenging the constitutionality of the federal government’s prohibition on the weapon ownership of medical marijuana patients, the Department of Justice has filed a brief in a federal appeals court. The brief that DOJ submitted on Wednesday contains many arguments that are similar to those that the agency presented in previous papers in the case, including before the federal district court that rejected the complaint that is currently being appealed by its plaintiffs. Yet the current document emphasizes the “wide-ranging ramifications” that the Biden administration claims would arise from a judgement that benefits the plaintiffs.

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