New Regulations Under Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Now In Effect

New regulations under the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority went into effect Monday. They include requirements for employee credentials and how the drugs are processed.

Tuesday, January 2nd 2024, 9:30 pm

By: Lex Rodriguez, News On 6


Several new state laws are now in effect with the new year, including four new regulations to the medical marijuana industry.

One dispensary owner says the new changes were a surprise and she didn't know about the changes until News On 6 reached out.

The owner of Medijuana says she believes regulations are changing too quickly and ignorance of the law could cost dispensaries hundreds of dollars in fines.

New regulations under the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority went into effect Monday.

They include requirements for employee credentials and how the drugs are processed.

The changes come as a surprise to one dispensary whose owner says she is still trying to catch up with prior regulations.

“Overall, it feels like they don't give us time to catch our breath,” the owner of Medijuana Farm Dispensary, Olly Hopkins, said.

Hopkins wants to do the right thing when it comes to changes in the industry but says the changes aren't easy to keep up with.

“They don't give us enough space to learn the new laws before they change the laws or amend them, and then there's all this hope that things are going to change for the better, and then it doesn't, so we get fined,” Hopkins said.

She says she was fined for an expired license last year despite submitting a renewal on time.

The OMMA’s website states license renewals can be submitted as early as 60 days before they expire, but it has 90 business days to approve them.

“We were out of business for a month last year due to this whole situation with OMMA everything changing,” Hopkins said.

OMMA says Senate Bill 1704 now requires employees of licensed medical cannabis businesses to receive credentials before they can work in a dispensary.

Hopkins says she's worried processing times could now affect her employees like Berena Barajas.

“It’s a lot. It’s always going to be a lot. There is a personal responsibility, but I feel like the people who are creating these things should be helping to make sure that it’s properly implemented,” Barajas said.

Employees have until the 31st to apply for credentials.

Beginning February 1st, new employees must have credentials before they can work.

Investigations into fraudulent licenses by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) led to many arrests over the past few years.

“Since 2021, OBN has shut down more than 3,000 marijuana grows, arrested over 200 individuals, and seized nearly 800,000 pounds of marijuana as part of criminal investigations for operating with a license obtained by fraud and/or growing for the out-of-state black market,” OBN Director Donnie Anderson said.

OMMA says current employees should begin application processes early to allow processing time for background checks.

The full list of requirements and other helpful information can be found on OMMA’s credentialing website here.

OMMA did not provide specific comments on the other three laws that went into effect on January 1st but made the following statement:

"We appreciate the public's interest in our ongoing efforts to implement new state laws. We will provide the latest information on our website, social media channels and newsletters."
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