OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Oklahoma Republicans announced a plan Monday for a comprehensive medical marijuana policy.
They say it would stop illegal marijuana operations and create a safer market for legal operations. House Republicans believe their 12-point plan will allow for stronger enforcement in the medical marijuana industry.
“If we can get rid of the bad actors, the illegal business in Oklahoma, everyone else will flourish,” T.J. Marti, (R) Broken Arrow, said.
A seven-member Republican working group announced the plan following the largest single-day illegal marijuana bust in state history.
They say nine of the objectives in their plan are directed at weeding out the bad actors.
Second on that list is a program to help fund law enforcement efforts.
“We are creating a grant program for sheriff’s departments that will allow enforcement efforts from their level in every county,” Marti said.
Although, a Tulsa attorney who represents the cannabis industry believes this will lead to tax increases.
“Either they’re going to change where some of the taxes are going or they’re going to raise taxes and both ways have impacts on Oklahomans," Amber Peckio Garrett said. "Either from how we want the money to be spent that’s being raised or we want to fund operations to make sure the illegal grows are not here.”
House Republicans also want to address inspection.
“We are going to require a minimum of one inspection a year and lift the cap that was a maximum of two to allow OMMA to inspect as often as they deem necessary,” Marti said.
Garrett says she believes this is a good idea.
“In case they have a business that is not coming into compliance as fast as they need to or they needed more time to come into compliance. This is a way to make sure that they are to be inspected throughout every step of that way instead of just limiting it to two per year,” Garrett said.
House Republicans say their plan also focuses on patient safety.
“We have a packing standard and maximum beyond-use dates. Currently, you won’t find expiration dates on products. We all feel that should be changed,” Marti said.
The entire 12-point plan:
- Making the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority a standalone agency (no bill number listed)
- A grant program for county sheriff's departments to fund law enforcement efforts in every county (HB 3530)
- Full implementation of a seed to sale system (either via court order or new legislation)
- Provisional licensing requiring pre-license inspections and increased document submission prior to approval (HB 3734)
- Tiered grow license fees based on growing size (HB 2179)
- Separate licensing for medical marijuana wholesalers (HB 3634)
- All medical marijuana businesses to post standardized permit signage at the place of business (HB 2025)
- Stringent electrical and water data reporting by marijuana growers (HB 4055)
- Annual inspections (HB 2024)
- Product packaging standards and maximum beyond use dates (HB 3019; HB 4288)
- Standardized laboratory testing and equipment (HB 4056)
- Marijuana grows to register as environmentally sensitive crop owners with the Agriculture Department (HB 3827)
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