Tulsa City Council Postpones Vote On Moratorium On Marijuana Growing, Processing Permits

Wednesday, September 26th 2018, 10:52 pm
By: Amy Avery

It’s going to take a little longer for medical marijuana growers to start working in Tulsa.

The City Council is considering a 90-day moratorium to discuss potential issues with regulations, but councilors delayed making even that decision at their Wednesday meeting.

Councilors were advised to place a 90-day moratorium on the issue until zoning requirements were discussed, but instead, they decided they needed more time.

However, some medical marijuana supporters say this moratorium would put operations behind in Tulsa.

“I so want to get off the opioids,” said Elise Wilson from Tulsa.  “They are my only alternative right now and they are not working.”

Wilson says she takes opioids to manage her pain, but she wants to be able to use medical marijuana in the future.  She says she believes the proposed moratorium would prevent people from getting the treatment they need.

9/26/2018 Related Story:  Tulsa City Council To Consider Moratorium On Marijuana Growing Permits

“I cannot wait another 90 days for medicine.  Please don’t make us do that,” she said.

Wilson is one of many people who stood up and encouraged the Tulsa City Council not to pass the moratorium.

“Cities are over-reaching and over-extending and that’s unfortunate, so I would encourage you not to do that,” said Chip Paul with Oklahomans for Health.

Local business owner and medical marijuana advocate Isaac Caviness says, “As these growers get established, finding their roots of distribution, they are going to be three months behind the rest of the state.”

Caviness says a moratorium could impact product coming in to his store.  He says he believes the delay would put operators behind financially.

“If I were one of these growers or processors who already spent thousands, if not millions, it would be financially advantageous to file a suit,” he said.

The City Council says they were advised to pass the moratorium in order to have more time to discuss zoning requirements, but some of the councilors say they aren’t sure it’s necessary.

“I don’t think that a strong enough case has been made that the moratorium is protecting us from some potentially horrific thing,” said Councilor Blake Ewing.

Attorney Ronald Durbin, who is representing a person suing the City of Broken Arrow over recent regulations on medical marijuana growing and processing permits, says, “I would urge restraint in talking about these issues and let’s be the example that we want Tulsa to be.”

The City Council says it plans to have a second reading on the issue at a future meeting.