ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With an ongoing federal lawsuit, the Rochester region and surrounding parts across the state are still prohibited from opening recreational cannabis dispensaries.

Back in November, the state’s cannabis control board approved 36 CAURD licenses to allow eligible businesses statewide to start selling marijuana on the market legally.

For many applicants, including locally, their license applications are still on hold.

Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled against the state attorney general’s office, which sought to remove the ongoing injunction on approving cannabis dispensary licenses in five regions of New York State.

The lawsuit, filed from a Michigan-based company, claims the process discriminated against out-of-state businesses.

In the last few months of waiting, Britni and Jayson Tantalo, co-owners of Flower City Hydroponics in Fairport, created the “New York State CAURD Coalition,” a growing nonprofit for those also on standby.

“We just found ourselves trying to navigate a very volatile market. And with regulation, so many things are changing including people having access to capital, and being able to find locations now. All of us are at different stages,” said Tantalo.

The group is now made up of roughly 100 members, including CAURD applicants and current license holders, sharing resources and maintaining conversations alongside the state office of cannabis management (or OCM).

“I believe a lot of people are going to need the resources to navigate this. It’s not something that will be built over night,” said Tantalo.

With the first New York cannabis dispensary opening in Manhattan late last year, Tantalo says she and other applicants maintain the hope that they, too, will have a chance to open in the future.

“It’s almost feeling as though a lot of the attention is downstate and not upstate. That’s something we’re actively trying to bridge that gap, as a coalition and as a CAURD applicant, to make sure a lot of us are not forgotten about despite the injunction,” said Tantalo.

News 8 has reached out to the state office of cannabis management. A spokesperson denied comment due to pending litigation.

Those eligible and interested in joining the “New York State CAURD Coalition” can send an e-mail to:, or follow: @newyorkcaurdcoalition on Instagram.