Broken Arrow medical marijuana ordinances could lead to lawsuit

Posted at 9:35 PM, Sep 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-19 22:41:54-04

A Tulsa-based attorney is planning on filing a lawsuit in response to new Broken Arrow ordinances concerning medical marijuana facilities.

The two ordinances were unanimously approved by the city on September 18, when Tulsa-based attorney Ronald Durbin warned the new rules "overstepped" SQ 788. However, city representatives stress the rules are "completely aligned with 788".

The two ordinances at their cores outline where medical marijuana facilities can operate and how they can run. The first issue Durbin has with the ordinances is the sale of medical marijuana must be made similarly to the way alcohol is sold. However, Broken Arrow Planning Development Manager Larry Curtis says the decision was made for a good reason.

"Because pharmacies are not required to have people over the age of 18 enter them or to sell to, it was important for us to align to something that does," Curtis said. "Closest to that would be alcohol sales."

The other two issues deal with the latter ordinance. The city can take up to 120 days to make a decision on a permit, and even have the option to extend that time if representatives feel it's necessary. When a facility is put in place, the annual fee for that business is $2,500.

"The fee is set so high as another deterrent for anybody that wants to get into the business there," Durbin said. "A $2,500 fee is ridiculous."

"We charge the same amount as the state does for alcohol sales," said Curtis in response. "We're just following the same pattern here for medical marijuana; the state fee is $2,500, so our fee is $2,500."

Durbin said his lawsuit would be filed by the end of the week after the ordinances were passed, or Monday, September 24 at the latest.