ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced that they have agreed to settle a lawsuit against a Michigan business owner.

The lawsuit, according to OCM, placed an injunction on five of New York’s regions — including the Finger Lakes region.

The injunction prevented licenses for cannabis dispensaries to be distributed to those regions. That injunction was lifted for most regions in March 2023 except for the Finger Lakes region.

With this recent announcement of a settlement, OCM said that they will move forward with the CAURD program and begin sending out licenses to the Finger Lakes region.

Linda Baldwin, the general counsel of OCM, explains the movement behind the decision.

“One of the conditions of the settlement was to grant the plaintiff in that case — the one that had applied for a CAURD adult use license when those licenses become available — those were terms we could agree upon to move forward with the full CAURD program,” she said.

Britni Tantalo owns Flower City Hydroponics with her husband Jayson in Fairport. They are both CAURD applicants and are still waiting for approval from the state to move forward. They share excitement for the future.

“It’s been very very difficult for most of us — there’s still 85 licenses outstanding as much as we’ve moved forward, and there’s still many of us waiting outside of the Finger Lakes region,” Tantalo said. “So many of us really had to see how this lawsuit was going to pan out — it could have went so much longer than it did even though it felt like an eternity in and of itself — we had to be certain we were going to be able to move forward.”

Senator Jeremy Cooney issued a statement in regard to the lawsuit settlement:

“I am relieved and pleased that the NYS Office of Cannabis Management has reached a settlement in the Variscite lawsuit. Hopefully, we can put this roadblock for the Finger Lakes Region behind us and focus on creating safe and legal access to recreational cannabis for adults in Greater Rochester. Public safety cannot be achieved in our state until all New Yorkers—including those of us in the Finger Lakes Region—can walk into a legal dispensary and purchase cannabis products that have been tracked and tested.

I eagerly await future announcements of Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licensees in the Finger Lakes Region, and our continued work to provide investment in these entrepreneurs and their businesses. Only then will we achieve the social equity envisioned in the legalization movement.”

Stay with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.