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Tighter regulations on medical marijuana growers move through the Oklahoma legislature

A cannabis plant at Sacred Herb Dispensary in Sapulpa.
Beth Wallis
StateImpact Oklahoma
A cannabis plant at Sacred Herb Dispensary in Sapulpa.

Since Oklahoma voters rejected recreational cannabis earlier this month, the state legislature has advanced several bills to further regulate medical cannabis grow businesses.

House Bill 2095 by Rep. Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City) and Sen. Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle): This legislation would enable the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control and the state Attorney General to work with OMMA on investigations and enforcement of cannabis regulations. It would also allow the OMMA to inspect grow facilities without warning.

The OMMA has paused issuing new grow licenses until August 2024; this bill would extend that moratorium into 2026. And if a grower failed to pay its taxes, the OMMA would revoke its license and bar the business from receiving any future medical marijuana business license in Oklahoma.

Senate Bill 116 by Sen. George Burns (R-Pollard) and Sen. David Bullard (R-Durant): This bill would make it illegal to grow cannabis within 1,000 feet of a place of worship.

Senate Bill 806 by Sen. Brent Howard (R-Altus) and Rep. Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City): Growers would need to prove that they own the land on which they’re licensed to grow cannabis.

Senate Bill 808 by Sen. Joe Newhouse (R-Tulsa): This bill would authorize the OMMA to revoke a grower’s license or issue cease and desist if the grower causes environmental damage.

Senate Bill 913 by Sen. Darcy Jech (R-Kingfisher) and Rep. Anthony Moore (R-Clinton): Cannabis grow businesses would need to purchase a $50,000 bond from the state that works kind of like a security deposit. If the grower abandons their property, violates a law or loses their license, that money will be used to restore the property and correct any environmental damage.

All the bills have been approved by their chamber of origin but are still moving through the legislative process.

Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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