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New York settles lawsuit over legal cannabis rollout, clearing the way for dispensary openings

New York settles discrimination lawsuit over cannabis rollout
New York settles discrimination lawsuit over cannabis rollout 02:02

LEVITTOWN, N.Y. - New York voted to settle an ongoing cannabis lawsuit Monday, clearing the way for hundreds of pending dispensary openings. 

CBS New York's Jennifer McLogan met with the disabled veteran who claimed discrimination, and won. 

After months of haggling over the rocky rollout of cannabis licenses, New York has finally settled the suit. The New York State Cannabis Control Board was unanimous. 

"Now, it's just a waiting game," Carimine Fiore said. 

Fiore, a disable military veteran, filed a discrimination lawsuit in August, claiming he and other vets were passed over in favor of those convicted of a pot-related crime in awarding dispensary licenses. 

"I feel like veterans were used to get a law passed, and a good law, one that helps many citizens and the state as well. But once that law was passed, I feel we were cast aside for a separate agenda," Fiore said. 

Those arrested on marijuana charges, minority and women, farmers, and veterans were supposed to be first. So the rollout, deemed discriminatory, halted and came to a dead stop. 

Hundreds of cannabis stores were left in limbo over the legal weed war. 

"I think, with this, you are beginning to see a new chapter in New York state cannabis. I think everyone here is looking cautiously, but optimistically, turn the page and be able to move on to the next round," attorney Ryan McCall said. 

"The judge still has to sign off on the stipulation agreement. That is what we are waiting for. We don't know how long it's going to take, or what is going to be the next obstacle," Fiore said. 

Details of the agreement haven't been made public, but litigants are thrilled. 

The slow pace gave illicit peddlers ample time to create illegal business in cash, without paying cannabis taxes. So far, only 26 licensed cannabis shops have opened statewide. 

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