Cannabis dispensary grand opening by disabled veteran in Oneonta, NY amidst legal controversy

Disabled veteran Korey Rowe will open "Dosha" his cannabis dispensary in Oneonta, upstate New York this weekend. 

He was able to qualify for one of the coveted licenses from the New York state because he also has a prior conviction for a past marijuana-related offense. 

However, he told FOX 5 NY's Sharon Crowley he still supports a group of other disabled veterans who are suing the state of New York.

They claim their constitutional rights are being violated by the state's cannabis program which prioritizes retail licenses for people with past marijuana convictions. 


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"They have been continuously pushed back and said, you know, we're going to get to you, we're going to get to you. And eventually, the veterans got upset, and they got tired of waiting, and they said, you know, we're not going to wait anymore, and so they put out this lawsuit," Rowe said. 

The Veteran's lawsuit is the latest setback in the New York state cannabis rollout. 

A State Supreme Court judge is now temporarily restricting the office of cannabis management from giving out any more licenses until this case plays out in court. 

Hal McCabe is the interim executive director of the Cannabis Association of New York. 


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He says he understands lawmakers were trying to right a wrong by allowing people with prior cannabis convictions to get first in line, but he says it has opened the door to litigation and delays. 

"I mean, to our credit, we tried to do something no other state had really done, which is, you know, the social equity, social justice component of it and really putting that first and I applaud that. And I think that's great. The problem is, we did it in a ham-fisted way, and we've got this more screwed up than a soup sandwich right now,McCabe said.  

There's one more factor at play, those who represent small cannabis dispensaries and growers worry court delays could drag on and drain them of money. 

Leaving an opening for larger multi-state operators with deep pockets to move in and dominate the industry.  

The New York state office of cannabis management has not responded to our request for comment.