A new law will create a fund to give some of the OMMA’s money to sheriff departments, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
Gov. Kevin Stitt signed HB 3530 on May 9. It will take effect on July 1, 2022.
The new law creates the County Sheriff Public Safety Grant Revolving Fund “for the purpose of establishing programs and providing funding to support county sheriffs to enforce the requirements” of Oklahoma’s medical marijuana laws.
In a press release, Rep. David Hardin (R-Stilwell) said, “This grant program will allow for one full time deputy to be totally dedicated to assisting OMMA compliance inspectors.”
Hardin said, “OMMA compliance inspectors are being met with resistance at medical marijuana facilities across our state.”
“They are just trying to do their jobs and make sure everything is done by the book, but they aren’t law enforcement officers,” said Hardin, who was one of the authors of the bill. “They don’t carry a weapon and are often met by people carrying firearms telling them to leave a property.”
HB 3530 creates an annual grant program funded by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) budget. The program would provide county sheriffs close to $65,000 for one year and would require one deputy to be assigned to assist OMMA compliance inspectors, according to the press release.
County and law enforcement officials praised the the bill. Ray McNair, executive director of the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association added, “HB 3530 will provide our most rural sheriffs the resources to combat illegal marijuana operations in their county.”
The bill comes after OMMA compliance inspectors were denied access to properties 181 times between April 2021 and Feb. 2022. This accounts for 9.6% of all inspections during that period, according to the press release.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics will provide training for deputies to ensure that they know what expect and do during compliance inspections.
Hardin, who has a background in law enforcement and served as a sheriff, said this bill is about safety.
“This bill is not meant to threaten anyone,” Hardin said. “We just want to make sure our compliance inspectors can safely do their jobs. This is a very important piece of legislation that will help rein in illegal marijuana operations and give Oklahomans the safe, fair free market for medical marijuana that they voted for in 2018.”
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 OMMA 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.