Oklahoma House Republicans unveiled a comprehensive medical marijuana law and policy plan on March 7, 2022, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale. They say it’s aimed at stopping illegal grows and fostering a safer free market for the marijuana industry.
Watch the Oklahoma House Republicans press conference here: https://fb.watch/bC928kafsy/
The 12-point plan advanced through multiple bills in House committees last week.
“This comprehensive plan aggressively attacks the spread of illegal marijuana operations statewide, as the people of Oklahoma have demanded,” said House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City.
The 12-point plan will require:
- Making the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority a standalone agency
- A grant program for county sheriff’s departments to fund law enforcement efforts in every county (HB 3530)
- Full implementation of a seed to sale system (either via court order or new legislation)
- Provisional licensing requiring pre-license inspections and increased document submission prior to approval (HB 3734)
- Tiered grow license fees based on grow size (HB 2179)
- Separate licensing for medical marijuana wholesalers (HB 3634)
- All medical marijuana businesses to post standardized permit signage at the place of business (HB 2025)
- Stringent electrical and water data reporting by marijuana growers (HB 4055)
- Annual inspections (HB 2024)
- Product packaging standards and maximum beyond use dates (HB 3019; HB 4288)
- Standardized laboratory testing and equipment (HB 4056)
- Marijuana grows to register as environmentally sensitive crop owners with the Agriculture Department (HB 3827)
A seven-member Republican working group collaborated with industry stakeholders, other legislators, regulators, law enforcement and other experts to develop the plan. The working group was comprised of Reps. Rusty Cornwell, R-Vinita, Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, T.J. Marti, R-Broken Arrow, Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, John Pfeiffer, R-Orlando, and Jay Steagall, R-Yukon.
“All these bills work together to create a multifaceted, synergistic approach to extinguish illegal growing and distributing while focusing on product safety and public health,” Marti said. “Oklahoma is open for legal business. Legitimate businesses will rise and illegal operators will fall under this package.”
Marti is chairman of the House Alcohol, Tobacco & Controlled Substances Committee, which advanced most of the bills containing the plan.
Fetgatter, who has worked extensively on medical marijuana issues for the past three years, praised the collaboration used to develop the plan.
“These solutions build on our work in previous years to comprehensively address the most significant concerns citizens across the state – from anti-marijuana voices to our many legitimate marijuana businesses – have had since State Question 788 passed. I am proud of my colleagues for their collaborative teamwork on this complex, pressing issue,” Fetgatter said in a press release.
Oklahoma voters authorized medical marijuana through State Question 788 in June 2018. The state’s medical marijuana industry has grown since then, but so has its illegal black market, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
Law enforcement has connected some grow operations to international organized crime and drug trafficking organizations.
More than 200 law enforcement agents conducted the largest single day drug bust in state history last month, raiding a dozen locations statewide to seize 100,000 marijuana plants and thousands of pounds of processed marijuana with an estimated street value of $500 million, according to a House of Representatives press release.
A House resolution honoring the officers involved in the raids was presented on the House floor last week.
“If you’re a bad actor, you better get out or get straight or you’ll be next,” said Pfeiffer, a member of the marijuana working group. “From last month’s historic bust to this aggressive policy package, the message is clear: Illegal marijuana is coming to an end in Oklahoma.”
WORKING WITH THE CALE LAW OFFICE
The Cale Law Office is dedicated to the practice of 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. This is done while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards.
We have helped numerous people set up marijuana businesses and acquire their commercial dispensary, processor, and grower medical marijuana licenses. 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. Or, contact us through the web. Your initial consultation is free.
Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale is the founder of Cale Law Office, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has been serving people with legal needs for more than 22 years.
Cale works with a number of marijuana-related organizations. He is a Legal Committee member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Additionally, he serves on the board of Green Country NORML, a Tulsa chapter of NORML. He also serves as a board member for, and is on the Standard Operating Procedures steering committee for, OK4U Approved, a medical marijuana patient union and trade organization.