TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma State House of Representatives passed a House bill to limit the number of medical cannabis business-issued licenses.
If signed into law, the cap would go into effect on September 1, 2021. The bill, authored by Rep. Josh West (R) of Grove, Okla. passed with an emergency 69 to 21. The bill now goes to the state Senate floor for approval.
“We’re doing the things we can legislatively to make sure that our businesses are able to be prosperous, the people that are consuming marijuana are consuming safe products, and we’re doing everything we can to extinguish the black market," Rep. Scott Fetgatter (R) Okmulgee, Okla. said.
Fetgatter voted in support of House Bill 2272. The representative from Okmulgee has been at the forefront of medical marijuana reform this legislative session.
The bill would prohibit the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority from issuing any more licenses for growers, dispensaries, and processors. Writing in the bill suggests failure of compliance and lack of sales will weed out the more than 10,000 Oklahoma businesses after the first year.
Fetgatter told 2 Works for You he favors the open, free-market the state's medical marijuana industry was built on but said the black market needs to be stomped out.
"There's a lot of nefarious things going on," he said. "We have people who are not playing by the rules and doing things illegally."
Fetgatter said illegal operations purchase multiple licenses and flip their businesses once they feel they are close to being caught by OMMA or the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. He said this bill shut that down. However, he said the end of illegal activity in the medical marijuana market starts and ends with enforcement by regulatory agencies like the OMMA.
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