OK agricultural groups call for pause in medical marijuana grow licensing

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A handful of Oklahoma agriculture associations and one law enforcement group sent a letter to the state’s medical marijuana regulators asking for a moratorium on new MMJ cultivation licenses.

“On behalf of Oklahoma’s farmers, ranchers and rural citizens, the undersigned organizations write with great concern for the explosive growth in the number of marijuana grow facilities in rural Oklahoma,” the groups wrote in their joint letter to the state’s Medical Marijuana Authority,

Oklahoma has one of the loosest licensing schemes of any marijuana market in the country and more medical cannabis dispensaries (2,000-plus) than any other state.

The ag groups pointed out that, as of Sept. 3, Oklahoma regulators had issued 8,630 MMJ cultivation licenses, exceeding the number of wheat farms (6,510), pork farms (1,906), soybean farms (1,750), cotton farms (808) and dairy farms (471) in the state.

“This new industry is fundamentally changing rural Oklahoma. An immediate moratorium on issuing permits will give time to consider appropriate and proper actions to preserve rural Oklahoma,” according to the groups.

The groups are asking the state to pause issuing licenses until at least June 1, 2022, and, in the meantime, evaluate the MMJ industry’s impact on waste disposal, water availability and other issues.

The letter is signed by the:

  • Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association.
  • Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.
  • Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association.
  • Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association.
  • Oklahoma Soybean Association.