New Ruling Strikes Down Most NY Cannabis Regulations Before Scaling Back Decision

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A New York (NY) judge struck down most of the state’s cannabis regulations last week before scaling back on their decision.

Last week, an Albany County Supreme Court judge ruling appeared to suggest that they were going to be striking down all New York (NY) cannabis regulations. The recent ruling was in regard to a lawsuit filed by Leafly, a cannabis website. According to AP News (1), Leafly “challenged the state’s rules barring marijuana dispensaries from advertising on third-party platforms.”

The judge’s decision suggested that it was going to be striking down almost all of New York’s cannabis regulations involving adult-use (2). NY State Supreme Court Justice Kevin Bryant amended their recent ruling the following day (1-3). Reuters mentioned that the judge had “criticized” the Office of Cannabis Management, as well as the New York Cannabis Control Board’s reaction to Leafly. “Here, there is no indication that any evidence was actually placed before the administrative agency,” Justice Bryant wrote (2). “It is not counsel's role to develop and outline a rational argument in favor of the regulations after the fact.”


In the amended ruling, Justice Bryant mentioned that only a few regulations specifically regarding the handling of advertising and third-party marketing restrictions (2). By the time the amended ruling was made public, news agencies and others had been reporting the Big Apple State’s cannabis regulations being entirely struck down (1). Unhappy with the misinterpreted ruling, State Senator Jeremy Cooney, who is a part of the state’s Senate cannabis subcommittee, released a statement (1): “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”. Senator Cooney added that, “While some changes to marketing regulations are needed, the decision by the Court to throw out all agency regulations will ultimately slow progress at a time when we need to more aggressively combat illicit shops to grow a stronger, more-equitable legal market.” With the amended ruling clarifying that the entire cannabis regulations for the state weren’t voided, the Office of Cannabis Management has commented that they are “reviewing the corrected decision” (1).

Recreational cannabis was first legalized in New York State in 2021 (4). The process has been very slow. This has been seen in a lack of regulatory enforcement, additional legal challenges, a lagging licensing process, and an abundance of illegal establishments (1).

Aside from the growing frustrations of New York’s slow cannabis program rollout, Leafly released a statement highlighting their support for the state’s cannabis industry (1): “It’s impossible to overstate the importance of providing consumers with choices, and educational information when making purchasing decisions.” The cannabis website added how, “It is critically important that licensed-retailers have equal access to important advertising and marketing tools to help them succeed in a competitive landscape.”


  1. Marcelo, P. No, A Judge Didn’t Void All of New York’s Legalized Marijuana Laws. He Struck Down Some (accessed Apr 9, 2024).
  2. Stockler, A. Judge Quietly Walks Back Decision Voiding All NY Cannabis Regulations. What Happens Now? 153705298.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAGPtVjj4aumuGDPEX5tam3cQyIqqJGwo-zouO7U78rgrXJ-C5e77gTWaOH3EwB-MeY9_UlIsm1DN2J8YuURQuqXMSTyXHR51U8m28ZaT0V3KNrH51E2D9ZWSKz_ufHtUnIt3kl4b2TQmV0M-6-4BA5-3CujwjV_sIEJ19nqmG9Nx (accessed Apr 9, 2024).
  3. Jones, D. N. New York Judge Scales Back Order Invalidating State’s Cannabis Regulations (accessed Apr 10, 2024).
  4. Colli, M. First Recreational Cannabis Dispensary Opens on Long Island (accessed Apr 9, 2024).