ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – A federal judge has temporarily blocked New York from issuing recreational marijuana dispensary licenses in Brooklyn and parts of upstate New York while a legal challenge to the state’s selection process is being considered.

The preliminary injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe in Albany on Thursday comes as the state prepares to begin adult marijuana sales by the end of the year, starting with shop owners with past pot convictions or their relatives.  

Sharpe is hearing a legal challenge from Variscite NY One, which claims the state’s selection process favors New York residents over out-of-state residents in violation of constitutional interstate commerce protections.