Oklahoma regulators are collecting public opinion on recent revisions to state cannabis law, including a two-year freeze on new company licenses, until mid-December, ahead of prospective adult-use marijuana legalization in 2023.
In the fall, new legislation and emergency rulemaking adjusted the laws governing Oklahoma’s flourishing medical marijuana industry, considered one of the most business-friendly marketplaces in the country.
Among the adjustments were the following:
- Commercial marijuana production is prohibited within 1,000 feet of a school.
- Exit bags and visible packaging are required.
- A two-year moratorium on new company licenses went into force on August 26.
To Legalize Or Not To Legalize
Tulsa World stated that members of the public affected by the new restrictions, including company owners, have until 5 p.m. December 15 to supply regulators with “specific information” on changes in revenue, financial outlook, and other effects. Public input will be received in person, by mail, and online. The remarks will be examined by state legislators and the governor during the next legislative session, according to the publication.
Oklahoma had 7,348 licensed producers, 1,433 processors, and 2,286 dispensaries as of July. The fight over state rules comes just before voters decide to legalize adult usage in March.
According to The Oklahoman, Gov. Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma Southern Baptists, the state’s most prominent religious organization, have already expressed their opposition to State Question 820. Oklahoma voters will vote on the issue on March 7.
As Oklahoman residents gear up for the public forum, it’s important to note the absurdity of the state only now deciding to limit the number of new licenses being issued. Officials were happy to line their pockets with millions in license fees from marijuana businesses to set up in a wild west style medical market. Yet, they seem to scramble to thin the herd and limit marijuana sales.
According to recently revealed numbers, Oklahoma officials awarded more than 7,300 company licenses in the first year of the state’s high-flying medical cannabis program, including roughly 4,300 producer licences. In addition, the state is accepting applications for a new stand-alone license category: transporter. Previously, licensed cultivators, processors, or dispensaries could only obtain transporter permits. While these numbers sound promising, realistically, only around 50% of these businesses will survive once stricter regulations and more competition comes into play.
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