Tulsa Medical Marijuana Businesses Frustrated With Zoning Delays

Thursday, October 4th 2018, 6:58 pm
By: Emory Bryan, Justin Shrair

A medical marijuana dispensary filed a lawsuit Thursday against the City of Tulsa over possible regulations on their business.

The City Council delayed new zoning regulations but they're still being considered.

The regulations for medical marijuana businesses are getting a lot of attention at city hall, where city planners are trying to determine if those businesses need separate regulations

Shops are beginning to open up, expecting they can sell marijuana by December.

The “Ye Old Apothecary Shoppe" just got a license but doesn't have the product yet. They're concerned about the uncertainty of city regulations and whether they'll be able to stay in business once they know the rules.

"We don't know whether we're going to have to fight the city or can comply with them.  It's not right they're holding off voting or giving us the information. They've got to be upfront and tell us what we've got to do," said Danna Malone. 

As of Thursday, only recommendations have been made.

"We would like our regulations to keep moving because we are in this period right now where we don't have any," says Susan Miller of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission.

 Recommendations for a dispensary are that it must be in an enclosed building. Must not be located within 1000 feet of another dispensary and cannot have any drive-through windows or lanes.

They may also have to install an air filtration system, a security system, surveillance camera, and be state licensed. Malone says it takes time to comply with rules and points out if she needs to install something like an air filtration system it will cost money and take time.

"Find somebody to do it we would have to get our landlords permission to do it we would have to get probably an engineering in here to do it and then they have to do it they're gonna shut me down," said Malone.

In the meantime, she and her business partner have filed a lawsuit asking a judge to make the city finalize the rules  

"This is stopping medical marijuana business in Tulsa plain and simple," says Malone.

The rules are in the hands of the planning commission right now. They're on a path to go before the City Council for adoption within the month. The City has not commented on the lawsuit.