HomeNewsOklahoma Medical Marijuana Crackdown Continues

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Crackdown Continues

After tipoffs, eleven people have been arrested in Oklahoma’s Wagoner County for illegal cannabis dispensary operations.

Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program is hugely popular and easily accessible, with wide range of qualifying conditions. But the nature and scope of the program has led to more than its fair share of businesses operating outside of compliance.

On June 7, authorities from multiple agencies conducted compliance checks on dispensaries suspected of selling medical marijuana illegally in Wagoner County. According to Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office, each establishment that was checked illegally sold to undercover State Agents who did not possess an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) Card.

Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott said while his office will never infringe on the rights of Oklahomans who possess an OMMA card:

“We will however aggressively pursue any business in Wagoner County that operates in any illegal manner.”

Commenting on the action and in a warning to the industry, Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action (ORCA) said:

“It’s not just OMMA secret shoppers. We are seeing crackdowns at all levels from Fed to local building a lot of momentum. Get serious on compliance at all levels, or you will not be here in a year.”

This isn’t just about dispensaries – grow facilities are also included in an ongoing crackdown.

In March last year, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signalled he would implement greater controls and compliance activity in his state, stating the situation had gotten “way out of control“. A study conducted for the state government found the supply of regulated medical cannabis outpaced patient demand by a factor of 32.

In the twelve months to November last year, OMMA’s compliance and enforcement efforts included completing almost 7,000 inspections and 4,600 operational status visits. In late October, OMMA filed 165 petitions for revocation against licensed grow facilities for failure to have signage required by law.

As well as the crackdown, laws for businesses are also being tightened with a greater focus on business compliance. Last week, Governor Stitt signed SB1635 into law, which requires medical marijuana businesses to submit an affidavit along with a compliance certificate for license renewal to confirm zoning laws, municipal rules, and safety codes are being observed.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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