Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed a bill requiring the State Department of Health to hire additional compliance and enforcement workers for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), plus fill other positions at the agency, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
The governor signed HB 2904 on May 25th. It requires hiring for the following positions at the OMMA:
- Sixty-two compliance and enforcement positions;
- Six positions to perform legal and financial duties;
- Four investigatory officers; and
- Four positions to perform planning and logistics duties.
The bill mandates that those positions be filled by December 1, 2021, Cale said. Under the bill, investigatory officers must have at least five years of experience in criminal investigation.
Additionally, the bill requires that “all such hires shall be provided all tools, technology and vehicles required to perform their duties, within thirty (30) days of the beginning of their employment.”
“The OMMA needs these additional positions, not only to carry on their current compliance and enforcement duties, but to handle additional inspection duties under new law,” Cale said.
On May 18, Gov. Stitt signed HB2272, That new law requires the OMMA to schedule on-site meetings and compliance inspections to determine whether a marijuana business is actively operating or working toward operational status, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
Beginning September 1, 2021, the OMMA will be required to schedule on-site meetings and compliance inspections of dispensary, grower, and processor premises. The meeting and inspection must occur within 180 days after the OMMA has issued the medical marijuana business license.
The text of the new law states that the purpose of the meeting and inspection is so that the OMMA can determine whether the licensee is “actively operating or working towards operational status.”
At the first onsite meeting and inspection, the OMMA will grant the marijuana business a 180-day grace period to become operational if the business fails to prove that it is actively operating or working toward operational status, Cale said.
Upon that grace period expiring, the OMMA will schedule another on-site meeting and inspection. After this second meeting and inspection, if the marijuana business still has not provided proof of being operational or working toward being operational, the OMMA is authorized to grant another 180-day grace period for the business to become operational.
Upon the second grace period expiring, the OMMA must terminate the medical marijuana business license if the business fails to provide proof that it is actively conducting business operations at the licensed premises.
Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale works with a number of marijuana-related organizations. He is a Legal Committee member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Additionally, he serves on the board of Green Country NORML, a Tulsa chapter of NORML. He also serves as a board member of, and is on the Standard Operating Procedures steering committee for, OK4U Approved, a medical marijuana patient union and trade organization.