A state senator wants to remove the agricultural sales tax exemption from Oklahoma medical marijuana businesses. State Sen. George Burns introduced his SB1101 on Nov. 4th., said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
Under current law, sales of certain agricultural products are exempt from sales tax. That exemption includes ”items to be and in fact used in the production of agricultural products.”
However, Burns’ bill seeks to remove “the growing, harvesting, and processing of marijuana” from the definition of agricultural products.
In a press release, Burns said that removing marijuana growers, harvesters, and processors would “create additional revenue from the medical marijuana industry that could be used to hire more law enforcement officers to further regulate the industry and weed out illegal grows.”
“There’s more than 8,000 marijuana growers licensed with the state – but how many more are operating illegally without oversight from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA),” Burns said.
Burns, R – Pollard, said that he wants Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program to be “well-regulated.”
“There have been numerous reports that illegal grows have brought additional drugs and crime into our state, and it’s time we put our foot down and say enough is enough,” he said. “However, we need to have sufficient funding available to give the OMMA and Bureau of Narcotics the resources to go into these grows and make sure they are compliant.”
Burns further stated, “My hope is that by subjecting marijuana growers, harvesters, and processors to a sales tax, we can use the extra revenue created to boost funding for the law enforcement arms of the marijuana industry, therefore protecting all Oklahomans.”
The deadline to introduce new bills is January 20, 2022, Cale said. The State Legislature will convene at Noon on Feb. 7, 2022. The Oklahoma Constitution requires regular sessions of the Legislature to adjourn by 5:00 p.m. on the last Friday of May. In 2022, that will be May 27th.