HomeNewsOMMA Crackdown Shutters Marijuana Cultivators

OMMA Crackdown Shutters Marijuana Cultivators

A collaborative investigation has seen the shuttering of several marijuana businesses in Oklahoma, with further action to likely follow.

In March this year, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said medical marijuana was getting “way out of control” in his state. He said he had been told there’s enough marijuana grown in Oklahoma to supply the entire USA, and signalled the situation would be tightened up.

In June, a study found the supply of regulated medical cannabis was outpacing patient demand in the state by a factor of 32, raising concerns the oversupply may be helping to support an illicit market. It turns out that has been the case and the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) subsequently committed to tackling the situation.

In July, OMMA made an arrest after an anonymous complaint about a licensed grow facility where 4,000 untagged cannabis plants and more than 630 pounds of untagged cannabis were discovered. Harvest rooms were also discovered on the property that weren’t disclosed by the licensee prior to the inspection.

Last week OMMA announced another investigation, carried out by OMMA in collaboration with Kay County authorities, has resulted in five businesses being shut down. Investigators seized or embargoed around 14,000 plants and 4,850 pounds of marijuana.

The investigation was triggered by 11 recent complaints concerning Ponca City-area medical marijuana businesses and saw 19 routine compliance inspections occur at local licensed facilities in the area.

OMMA initially filed two Emergency Orders of Summary Suspension and Embargo in administrative court on September 11, which resulted in two growers being immediately shut down. Then on September 13, OMMA filed three more orders for shutdowns. All are subject to further administrative proceedings.

These forced closures are unlikely to be the last.

“This enforcement effort aligns with the strategic response to the supply and demand study we released in June, sending a strong message that illicit activity has nowhere to hide,” said OMMA Executive Director Adria Berry.

Ms. Berry encouraged the public to contact OMMA when they suspect illegal activity in their area.

“Our enforcement, compliance and legal teams stand ready to ensure the safety of our patients and their communities through swift action.”

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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