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GREEN GOLD RUSH: Medical marijuana businesses fear added costs drive prices for patients

OMMA lawsuit impact
Posted at 10:26 PM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 12:14:50-04

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa attorney Ronald Durbin teamed with Dr. Z Leaf and reported thousands other medical marijuana businesses to file a lawsuit against the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

They are frustrated over the OMMA'S new partnership with seed-to-sale system, Metrc.

"You already have our money," Durbin said. "If you want this that bad, use the money you have and pay for it."

Durbin is referring to a $2,500 annual fee all roughly 10,500 medical cannabis business are required to renew their licenses. But, under its contract with Metrc, the state is requiring each business pay $40/month to access the program's software system.

The Florida-based company also requires $0.45 for an RFID tag tied to each plant. An additional $0.25 tag packaging cost is also added on.

"It makes absolutely no sense," Durbin said.

Harvest Health owner Tony Rodriguez told 2 Works for You the additional tag costs are an estimated $11,000 to $13,000 expense to his annual budget. He fears the only way to make it back is by raising prices for patients.

"It shouldn't be that way," Rodriguez said. "Everybody is being competitive. Everybody is dropping their price. So, to add that additional expense, I have to pass that on to the consumer and I don't want to have to do that."

Rep. Scott Fetgatter of Okmulgee, Oklahoma said he does not believe a requirement for businesses to use Metrc is within state statute.

He does worry, progress this legislative session to crack down on the industry's black market, may take a hit as a result of this lawsuit.

"I think it does potentially slow down the enforcement side of what needs to happen in our state, but this is between the industry, OMMA, and Metrc to figure out," Fetgatter said.

An OMMA spokesperson told 2 Works for You in response to a request for an interview, "We don't comment on pending litigation."

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