ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- On Wednesday morning, two marijuana sticker stores in the city of Elmira were raided by state and local authorities. Authorities raided two different 420 Novelties locations, one on Pennsylvania Avenue and the other on West Water Street.

Matthew Buzzetti is the lawyer for Christopher Mickinkle, who is the owner of both locations. Buzzetti said Mickinkle already started the process of applying for a dispensary license, but New York State has made it difficult to get one.

"We've started the application process to get submitted, but there's no point in submitting it, paying an astronomical fee. Even if it's approved, you can't get a license until the lawsuit is figured out. That's where we've paused right now," said Buzzetti.

He said there's a pause on issuing licenses from the Office of Cannabis Management.

"There's a complete bar from a judicial order. There's a lot of groups that are contesting the actual legislation for these licenses, saying that it's discriminatory and that it's unconstitutional [in] the way in which the legislation was written to grant the licenses," said Buzzetti.

He added, "So, we can't really go forward in that process until the state court and the legislature get their act together and figure all this stuff out. So, right now the plan is to continue the application process and see it all the way through."

Buzzetti said Mickinkle and other store owners who are raided can operate as long as they don't sell marijuana. He said people can sell rolling papers, paraphernalia, stickers, hoodies, food, and beverages with the proper licenses and/or permits.

"While they can [open] after being raided, it's not advisable for anybody, not limited just to Mr. Mickinkle or not. The gray area was fixed in the New York State budget back in April of this year, so you really shouldn't open these types of shops in any way without an actual license, which, as we all know, you can't actually get right now," said Buzzetti.

The Pennsylvania Ave. location appeared to be open as of Friday, while the West Water Street location appeared to be closed. Outside the Pennsylvania Ave. location, two safes were outside. Buzzetti said Mickinkle put them outside to show people how authorities used a jaws of life to open his safes.

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management announced on Friday, September 29th, it will begin accepting applications for certain licenses beginning on October 4th.

'The New York State Cannabis Control Board recently advanced the State's cannabis industry by approving applications for certain adult-use cannabis licenses.

Starting October 4, applications for Cultivator, Processor, Distributor, Microbusiness and Retail Dispensary licenses will be available on New York Business Express (NYBE). All adult-use license applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM EST on Monday, December 4, 2024. The Office will commence its first and approval process for applicants who apply with control over a proposed retail dispensary or microbusiness location by 5:00 PM EST on Friday, November 3, 2023. The retail and microbusiness licenses applications will remain open to collect applications for provisional licensure until the 5:00 PM EST on Monday, December 4, 2023, deadline.

Note:  Applicants for a cultivator, processor, or distributor license must submit proof of location control to be considered in this application window. Applicants for a retail dispensary or microbusiness license who apply with proof of control over a location will be on track to go through the November 3rd approval process. 

With the mission of equity and access, the Cannabis Law establishes a goal to award 50% of all adult-use licenses to Social and Economic Equity (SEE) applicants including individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of the prohibition of cannabis, minority and women owned businesses, distressed farmers, and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

Application and license fees are reduced by 50% for all qualified SEE applicants. In order to qualify for SEE status, sole control of the applicant must be held by an individual (or individuals) from the groups that qualify for SEE.

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) is pleased to continue its work in creating an adult-use cannabis industry?defined by inclusiveness, transparency, and economic opportunities for all stakeholders.'