The Department of Health (DOH) is being sued by four of the five New York medical marijuana companies to stop the addition of more companies in the state. The companies say that expanding the program may sink the industry and harm patients. No immediate injunction was issued to stop the expansion.
The Department plans to continue its fight to block attempts restricting patient access, according to Albany Times Union. Once word of new licenses being issued was mentioned to the existing companies, the lawsuit was filed. The New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association is representing the four companies.
The DOH plans to license up to five more companies by July (ranking 6 through 10 in the state’s initial process). The lawsuit claims that licensing more companies “will completely overstep its authority delegated by the Legislature”. Another claim is that this exceeds the Compassionate Care Act’s cap of five “registered organizations” at once.
The lawsuit also includes that low patient demand doesn’t make it necessary to add more supply.
In the lawsuit, it states, “The DOH’s premature doubling of the supply market, before patient demand has grown to a level that can sustain even the existing market, will immediately launch the collapse of the medical cannabis industry in New York.”
The Medical Cannabis Industry Association said, “Today is the first step in protecting the patients we serve on a regular basis across New York State.”
DOH Spokeswoman Jill Montag said, “The court’s decision today not to block this expansion while the lawsuit is pending certainly helps those residents.”