Category: Oklahoma Cannabis News

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Cannabis Industry NewsFrom Our WritersLaw EnforcementMedical Marijuana NewsOklahoma Cannabis News

Oklahoma Names Former Oil Lobbyist to Medical Cannabis Regulatory Agency

terry roston

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) has appointed a new director to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the fourth appointment in the agency’s three-year history, the Tulsa World reports. Stitt named former staffer and lobbyist for the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma Adria Berry to replace Kelly Williams, but in a separate announcement, the OMMA announced Williams “will continue to work with the agency, providing her expertise and guidance.”

The move is in response to complaints from law enforcement that cannabis grow operations are being taken over by “criminal enterprises,” the report says.

“I am committed to tackling the major challenges that the explosion of marijuana in Oklahoma is causing across our state. Foreign nationals are gobbling up land in rural communities and drug traffickers are exploiting our laws and threatening our public safety.”Stitt in a statement

Oklahoma has seen rapid growth in its medical cannabis market, prompting the legislature to pass a law allowing OMMA to contract with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control to help with enforcement. Additionally, House Majority Leader Jon Echols (R), has expressed interest in moving OMMA out of the Department of Health and into its own agency or make it a part of the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission, something Stitt, and the Senate oppose.

Echols said Berry and he “have worked together on marijuana legislation and other business issues, where we’ve been able to shape a working relationship built on trust.”

“I have the utmost confidence that Adria is going to be a tremendous addition to the OMMA team,” he said.

Underground Dispensary
Author: Lukas Barfield

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Cannabis Industry NewsFrom Our WritersLaw EnforcementOklahoma Cannabis News

Botched Raid Costs Cannabis Cultivator Millions

terry roston

A botched law enforcement operation in Oklahoma cost a state-licensed cannabis cultivator millions of dollars, KFOR reports. The Special Operations Team of District 23 last week raided Earth Research Labs’ McLoud facility after receiving information from another law enforcement agency.

Earth Labs’ property manager described the officers in SWAT formation, pointing guns, and destroying plants.

Mark Woodward, of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, told KFOR that the company’s license did not show up on an “initial check” but was found during a subsequent search in their “old system” the day after the raid.

Pottawatomie County District Attorney Alan Grubb said the Special Operations Team believed the information they received from the other, unnamed, law enforcement agency “in good faith to be accurate and correct after several checks.”

Earth Research Labs CEO, Rodney Topkov believes the damages to his business could be as much as $10 milliona figure disputed by Grubb.

Donald Gies, founding and managing attorney at Gies Law Firm, which is representing Topkov and Earth Labs, called the action “a pretty incredible mistake.”

“Whether it’s a computer glitch or a non-communication to the correct agency,” he said in the report. “Either way, we do know that I have a client that is out millions and millions of dollars and we need to know who’s gonna be held accountable.”

Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

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Cannabis Industry NewsFrom Our WritersMedical Marijuana NewsOklahoma Cannabis NewsTaxes

Cannabis-derived Tax Revenues in Oklahoma up 56% from 2019 to 2020

terry roston

Medical cannabis-derived tax revenues in Oklahoma increased 56% from 2019 to 2020 to more than $66 million, News on 6 reports. Comparatively, in 2020, the state’s tax on cigarettes brought in $71 million.

Oklahoma’s medical cannabis program is considered one of the most liberal in the U.S.

According to Oklahoma Tax Commission data outlined by Marijuana Business Daily, medical cannabis retailers in the state reported more than $831 million in total revenue in 2020. In 2019, medical cannabis revenues in the state topped $345 million.

Currently, there are 129,085 medical cannabis patients in the state along with 818 caregivers, according to Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority data. The state has also licensed 3,026 cultivators and 1,479 dispensaries.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would cap the number of dispensaries for two years and also requiring commercial licenses to be “active,” which is defined in the bill as having at least $5,000 in sales with producers maintaining at least 50 plants monthly. Further restrictions in the bill would lower the number of commercial licenses in the state from 10,000 to 8,000, which would set caps at 5,000 grower licenses, 2,000 dispensary permits, and 1,000 processor licenses.

Last month, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe requested $4 million in federal funds to combat diversion of cannabis from the state after the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics in April seized cannabis grown illegally by one of the companies licensed under the state’s medical cannabis program.

Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

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