Oklahoma To Pause Issuing Marijuana Business Licenses For Two Years
News 9 - July 31, 2022 5:14 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY –
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority plans to pause the issuance of commercial licenses for two years in accordance with a new state law.
State lawmakers passed HB 3208 last legislative session, which imposes the moratorium on licenses for growers, processors, and dispensaries.
The pause “allows OMMA a chance to catch up with all the new rules that are coming out,” Sen. Lonnie Paxton, a co-sponsor of the bill, said on the Senate floor in May.
Business license applications will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. on August 26. The OMMA originally stated that license applications will not be accepted after August 1, but the organization made an error interpreting the date of the bill creating the moratorium. The bill did not earn enough votes in the Oklahoma Legislature to take effect until August 26, according to OMMA.
The moratorium will expire on August 1, 2024, or when OMMA Director Adria Berry chooses to lift it.
“This does not affect license transfers, this does not affect license renewals and it does not affect patient licenses,” Berry said in an social media video.
Lawmakers considered numerous changes to state marijuana laws in the last session, many aimed at strengthening law enforcement or raising the barrier to entry for businesses.
In the years following the legalization of medical marijuana in 2018, Oklahoma became known to some law enforcement officials as a major producer of illegal weed.
The number of licensed marijuana growers in Oklahoma in July was 7,348, a 23% raise from 2020.