New law concerning medical marijuana waste went into effect on May 6th. But other provisions of the law set to go into effect Nov. 1st may be unconstitutional, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
The following is a general overview for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Laws and regulations change often. So, if you need legal services for your Oklahoma medical marijuana business or for personal use, contact Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale at 918-771-7314. The Cale Law Office offers a free initial consultation.
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Waste Management Act takes away control of marijuana waste disposal from the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act (CDS Act).
Previous regulations concerning medical marijuana waste simply made a reference to the CDS Act. However, that act provided little to no guidance on how to dispose of marijuana waste, Cale said.
SOME THINGS JUST STAY THE SAME
The new law keeps intact the Department of Environmental Quality’s jurisdiction over environmental responsibility as provided for in existing law.
WHAT THE NEW LAW ALLOWS
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Waste Management Act authorizes commercial licensees (growers, dispensaries, processors), research facilities and educational facilities to destroy the following marijuana plant parts without being required to use the services of a medical marijuana waste disposal facility:
- Root balls;
- Fan leaves; and
Unless restricted by local ordinance, the listed plant parts can be destroyed on-site by:
- Open burning;
- Composting, or
- Any other technique approved by the Department of Environmental Quality.
MORE RECORD KEEPING
Commercial licensees, research facilities and educational facilities that dispose of medical marijuana waste must create and maintain documentation on a form prescribed by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA).
The documentation must include:
- Precise weights or counts of medical marijuana waste;
- The manner in which the medical marijuana waste is disposed of; and
- A witness affidavit and signature attesting to the lawful disposal of medical marijuana waste under penalty of perjury.
Commercial licensees, medical marijuana research facilities and medical marijuana educational facilities must maintain these records for a period of five years.
The OMMA is allowed to inspect and audit the disposal records.
OTHER PARTS OF THE ACT CONSTITUTIONALLY QUESTIONABLE
The new act creates a waste disposal license and allows the OMMA to issue 10 of them at a cost of $5,000 each. However, a provision authorizes the OMMA to issue more licenses after the first year if the OMMA deems it necessary.
Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale said that all or some of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Waste Management Act might be an invalid special law under the Oklahoma Constitution.
“You have a limited number of people who can be granted the waste disposal license and they will be given special treatment,” Cale said. “There’s sure to be some litigation over this.”
Cale said the act “attempts” to force growers, dispensaries, processors to use a licensed medical marijuana waste disposal service unless that waste falls within the exception listed above.
However, he said that the wording of that provision was “inartfully drafted” and might not withstand a constitutional challenge.
APPLYING FOR THE WASTE DISPOSAL LICENSE
Entities applying for a medical marijuana waste disposal license must undergo a screening process. Some of what the OMMA looks for is sufficient liability insurance, and “physical and technical suitability.”
WASTE DISPOSAL PERMIT
Additionally, the OMMA will issue a facility permit to waste disposal licensees. The cost of the permit is $500.
WORKING WITH THE CALE LAW OFFICE
The Cale Law Office is dedicated to the practice of criminal defense and medical marijuana law. Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive representation.
This is done while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards.
See a list of our medical marijuana business legal and auditing services. For your legal needs, call the Cale Law Office at 918-771-7314. Your initial consultation is free.
Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale is a Legal Committee member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and has certification in marijuana horticulture. He has been serving people with legal needs for 20 years.