First, a lawmaker introduced a bill to keep dispensaries away from “places of worship.” Now another legislator wants to do the same for marijuana growers, said Tulsa marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
THE BILL’S DISTANCE PROVISIONS
If passed into law, it would go into effect Nov. 1, 2023. It also would prohibit growers from being located next to, or at the same physical address as, a place of worship.
Under the bill, the distance would be measured from the nearest property line of the place of worship to the nearest property line of the grower premises, Cale said.
Related Story | Bill Seeks to Distance Dispensaries From Places of Worship
PLACE OF WORSHIP DEFINED
The bill defines “place of worship” as: “any permanent building, structure, facility, or office space owned, leased, or rented on a full-time basis, and used weekly for worship services, activities, or business of the congregation, which shall include, but not be limited to, churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques.”
But, the bill also states that “a property owned, used, or operated by a place of worship that is not used on a full-time basis for worship, such as any administrative building, office space, or storage facility, shall constitute a place of worship.”
GRANDFATHER CLAUSE QUESTIONED
“The bill has poorly worded language that I think is an attempt to broadly grandfather current licensed growers,” Tulsa marijuana attorney Stephen Cale said. “But I don’t think the language saves those growers. It needs to be revised.”
A grandfather clause is a legislative provision that exempts certain classes of people or things from the requirements of a piece of legislation affecting their previous rights, privileges, or practices. Those exempt from a new law’s requirements are said to be “grandfathered in.”
But, SB 116 does have some language helpful to current licensed growers, Cale said. For example, if passed into law, the legislation would not apply to current growers if a place of worship establishes itself within 1,000 feet of, adjoining to, or at the same address as the grow farm.
2023 OKLAHOMA LEGISLATIVE SESSION
The deadline for introducing bills for the 2023 session is Jan. 19. The Legislative session begins at noon Feb. 6, 2023. See Legislative Calendar.
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.
We have helped numerous people set up marijuana businesses and acquire their OMMA dispensary, processor, and grower medical marijuana licenses. If you 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, Oklahoma, medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale is a Legal Committee member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He also serves on the board of Green Country NORML, a Tulsa chapter of NORML. He also is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association Cannabis Law Committee.