A State representative has introduced a bill for the 2020 legislative session that’s designed to keep dispensaries at least 1,000 feet from a “place of worship,” said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
The Oklahoma Legislature convenes at Noon February 3, 2020. However, legislators can “prefile” proposed legislation. Legislators can prefile bills beginning on November 15th of even-numbered years and at any time during odd-numbered years.
State Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, filed his House Bill 2779. Under the proposed legislation, “The location of any retail marijuana establishment is specifically prohibited within one thousand (1,000) feet of any place of worship.”
‘PLACE OF WORSHIP’ DEFINED
The bill broadly defines “place of worship” and includes buildings that are temporarily used, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
The bill defines “place of worship” as:
1. Any permanent building, structure, facility or office space owned, leased, rented or borrowed, on a full-time basis, when used for worship services, activities and business of the congregation, which may include, but not be limited to, churches, temples, synagogues and mosques; and
2. Any permanent building, structure, facility or office space owned, leased, rented or borrowed for use on a temporary basis, when used for worship services, activities and business of the congregation, which may include, but not be limited to, churches, temples, synagogues and mosques.
GRANDFATHER PROVISION FOR SOME DISPENSARIES
The bill doesn’t target all dispensaries, Cale said. HB 2779 provides exemptions to the distance requirement for dispensaries that were “established” before November 1, 2020. The bill does not define what “established” means.
“I bet there will confusion on what this term means unless it’s clarified through the legislative process,” Cale said. “Does it mean when the dispensary license was issued, when the business opened its doors? It’s not clear.”
The Tulsa medical marijuana attorney also said there’s no provision in the bill as to how the distance will be measured.
“You don’t know if the measurement is from property line of the dispensary to property line of the place of worship, or from entrance to entrance to entrance,” Cale said.
EFFECTIVE DATE IF PASSED INTO LAW
If the bill passes into law, it will be effective November 1, 2020, Cale said.
WORKING WITH CALE LAW OFFICE
The Cale Law Office dedicates its practice to medical marijuana law and criminal defense. Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive representation. We do this while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards.
If you want a medical marijuana business license, marijuana compliance auditing, or need legal representation in the Oklahoma medical marijuana industry, call the Cale Law Office at 918-771-7314. Your initial consultation is free.
OKLAHOMA MEDICAL MARIJUANA ATTORNEY STEPHEN CALE
Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale is a Legal Committee member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He has been serving people with legal needs for 20 years.
He also serves on the board of Green Country NORML, a Tulsa chapter of NORML.