Facing litigation, Oklahoma temporarily halts enforcement of some marijuana business rules
Monday, July 27, 2020
Posted by: Elissa Rodrigues
Pending litigation, the Oklahoma attorney general’s office temporarily has agreed the state will not enforce some medical marijuana laws that could force some dispensaries to close their doors.
On Monday, Oklahoma’s assistant solicitor general agreed the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will not enforce certain residency and location requirements that pertain to medical marijuana businesses and how long their owners have resided in Oklahoma.
The temporary stipulation comes as some medical marijuana businesses are suing the state over the legality of laws requiring cannabis business owners to be residents of the state for at least two years and mandating that dispensaries be located more than 1,000 feet from schools and preschools.
The laws took effect on Aug. 29, 2019.
As the legality of these provisions is debated in court, the Medical Marijuana Authority will not consider the two-year residency requirement when evaluating business license renewal applications, as long as a business owner originally applied for a license before the new law took effect.
The Authority also will not consider the 1,000-foot proximity rule when reviewing renewal applications, and will rescind and reconsider any license renewals that were rejected due to violation of the residency or location requirements — as long as the businesses originally applied for a license prior to the new laws taking effect.
The class-action lawsuit filed by medical marijuana businesses asks an Oklahoma County district court judge to permanently block the state from enforcing the residency and location requirements adopted by Oklahoma’s Legislature in House Bill 2612, which was more commonly known as the medical marijuana “Unity Bill.”