Lawsuit Challenges Planned Cannabis Dispensary in Harlem

Multiple Harlem-based businesses together filed a lawsuit this week that seeks to prevent the opening of a planned adult-use dispensary in the area.

Full story after the jump.

A group of Harlem-based New York City businesses filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to stop a dispensary planned for 125th Street, the New York Times reports. The lawsuit was filed by the 125th Street Business District Management Association in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The lawsuit aims to cancel the state’s lease on a storefront across from the Apollo Theatre. It is the first case challenging the process regulators use to choose dispensary locations, the report says.

The association said it did not oppose having a dispensary on 125th, or elsewhere in Harlem, but described the current location as “irredeemable” because it would add to crime, congestion, and open drug use already occurring at the location. The association described the state’s selection process for the site as “a naked, intentional and bold attempt to avoid community opposition.”

The lawsuit claims that the property’s landlord also currently rents space to an unlicensed dispensary two blocks away and that a recent murder and multiple shootings have occurred at that site.

The lawsuit names the Dormitory Authority – the state public construction agency – the Office of Cannabis Management, its executive director, and 246 West LLC among the defendants. The Dormitory Authority leased the 125th property in December as part of a program to provide retail locations to entrepreneurs selected to open adult-use dispensaries.

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