Petition filed in Oklahoma calling for end to higher Cannabis fees
A number of cannabis organisations have launched a petition calling for the state’s Supreme Court to repeal House Bill 2179 which implemented a tiered licensing system for growers and processors.
The law came into effect on June 1.
Oaklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action, along with three cannabis companies – Pharside LLC, Oaklahoma Natureal Cures LLC, and Bingo 101 LLC – have filed the petition against the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.
Cannabis businesses in the state were previously charged a fee of $2,500, however, with the introduction fo the new law, they could now be charged up to $50,000.
The petition states the new fee structure is a violation of a prohibition in the state’s constitution that prevents special laws, as the law does not also apply to dispensaries, and is an attempt to raise revenue through tax.
They also claim the bill should not have passed into law as it not get a supermajority vote – which is needed for a revenue bill to pass.
In a public statement, Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action, stated: “The hope here is … that the Supreme Court has to agree to hear this case without us having to start in district court. Fundamentally, this is a constitutional question and we have seen them in the past answered this very question…
“House Bill 2179… is a fee increase. This is really one thing that we know is that our programme has been revenue positive from day one back after seven lawmakers lamented that this programme would put the state $40 million in the hole every year to regulate it.
“What they got right, is that it takes about $40 million a year to regulate it. But what they didn’t get right, was that over the last over the last five years, I think we’re well north of half a billion dollars of revenue to the state from fees and taxes and sales taxes on this programme. It is a true success story and this has been accomplished with the current licencing structure of $2,500
“So, it cannot be said that this is anything more than a tax increase on our businesses.”