Law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma now have full authority to enforce the state’s medical marijuana laws, especially going after illicit operators.
According to Oklahoma City TV station KFOR, Gov. Kevin Stitt recently signed a bill into law that’s aimed at reining in the illegal businesses that have spread swiftly since the state launched its medical marijuana program five years ago.
In January, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs estimated that about 2,000 MMJ business license holders obtained permits fraudulently or are using their licenses to mask illegal sales.
The new law gives Oklahoma’s attorney general’s office, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control and the state Bureau of Investigation “full authority to investigate and enforce any violations of the laws regarding medical marijuana including medical marijuana business licenses held by commercial growers, processors, transporters, researchers, education facilities, and waste disposal facilities.”
According to KFOR, the new law:
- Extends an existing moratorium on new cultivation licenses through 2026 to give law enforcement more time to shut down illegal marijuana farms.
- Allows police officers to seize and destroy cannabis that has not been recorded in inventory systems as well as product not required to be in the inventory system.
- Prohibits licensed MMJ growers to knowingly hire undocumented immigrants. Violations could result in a misdemeanor and loss of license.
- Limits to one the number of MMJ commercial grower licenses that can be issued for any one property.
- Allows state law enforcement agencies to perform surprise inspections.