Oklahoma lawmaker hopes to tighten medical marijuana regulation

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Oklahoma needs to move on from the “Wild West” that emerged with legalization of medical marijuana by strengthening regulation of the industry, a state lawmaker said.

State Rep. Sean Roberts, a Republican from Hominy, said Wednesday that he’ll introduce legislation this year to modify both the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act and Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Waste Management Act. Goals are to cut down on illegal cultivation of marijuana and to address rising influences of “foreign actors” on state interests.

“These changes that I am proposing will stop the many illegal operations in our state run by foreign actors, such as criminal Chinese enterprises or cartels, who participate in human trafficking and are smuggling their illegal narcotics out of Oklahoma to other states,” Roberts said.

If passed, Roberts’ legislation would alter Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority ownership residency requirements for businesses. Specifically, it would change OMMA residency requirements from 75% of owners living in Oklahoma to 100%. It also proposes that Oklahomans found to be acting as “middlemen” for entities outside the state would face potential suspension of business licenses.

“When medical marijuana was legalized in Oklahoma, it basically created a ‘Wild West’ situation as we did not have enough legal structure in place to address all future issues that could arise,” Roberts said.

“As the years have passed, we have a better understanding of what we are doing right and what we need to fix. We have a duty to Oklahomans, and our surrounding states, to rein in this situation before it gets even more out of hand.”

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