Oklahoma aims to beef up enforcement efforts on illicit medical marijuana businesses

Oklahoma’s enforcement against unlicensed medical marijuana companies is likely to increase significantly in 2022 now that state regulators have taken advantage of increased funding and have ramped up hiring of cannabis business inspectors.

According to The Oklahoman, staffing levels at the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) have risen 175% since May and the agency now has 171 workers, including 67 tasked with going after illegal operators.

“We do still have hiring to do,” OMMA Director Adria Berry told The Oklahoman.

“We’re looking at at least 30 more compliance inspectors, and then we’ll reevaluate once we get to that number and see how many more we need.”

The OMMA is expecting the number of operational businesses to shrink significantly as it ramps up its oversight of the industry.

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A first step is to shut down all marijuana companies that didn’t sign a required state document affirming their operations include no foreign financial interests.

There are 650 pending cases involving the revocation of MMJ licenses that are awaiting paperwork, Berry said, and hundreds more are in the pipeline.

There are also likely legislative changes in the pipeline, including potential authorization for the OMMA to conduct site inspections of MMJ businesses, a possible new statewide cap on the number of MMJ permits allowed, and more.