A judge did not nullify all New York marijuana legislation. He defeated some

New York — A judge's order Thursday appeared to overturn all recreational marijuana laws in New York, upsetting the cannabis sector. But a crucial part of the order was wrong.  

After cannabis farmers, sellers, and supporters raised concerns, the Wednesday ruling was narrowed Thursday. Leafly, a cannabis sales website, sued the state to have marijuana dispensaries advertise on third-party platforms.  

In a strong ruling, State Supreme Court Justice Kevin Bryant agreed with Leafly that the state's rules were arbitrary, capricious, and unconstitutional. His verdict initially removed the marketing and advertising laws and the state's regulatory structure as “unconstitutionally vague.”  

The verdict was then revised to show that the judge voids state restrictions specific to third-party platforms like Leafly that enable marijuana entrepreneurs market and promote their products. By then, many news sources had claimed New York's marijuana regulation system had been overturned, sparking an outrage. State Sen. Jeremy Cooney, who chairs the cannabis subcommittee, criticized the decision immediately.  

“Today’s State Supreme Court decision was another setback in a series of blows New York’s adult-use cannabis market has faced since legalization, three years ago,” he said. While some marketing rules are needed, the Court's decision to throw out all agency regulations would stall development at a time when we need to more actively attack illicit stores to grow a stronger, more equal legal market.  

A state court representative was contacted about the initial, incorrect ruling. State's Office of Cannabis Management is considering the corrected decision. New York's legalization of marijuana has been plagued by a delayed licensing procedure, legal issues, hundreds of illegal stores, and weak regulation.  

Insufficient licensed outlets have led marijuana farmers to complain that they can't sell their crops. Meanwhile, police have been closing illegal marijuana businesses around the state, particularly in New York City, while unlicensed vendors fill the legal gap. Leafly, the California company whose lawsuit caused a stir, said it will support New York marijuana consumers and companies after the ruling.

“It's impossible to overstate the importance of providing consumers with choices and educational information when making purchasing decisions,” the business added. “Licensed retailers need equal access to advertising and marketing tools to succeed in a competitive market.”  

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