Oklahoma lawmaker seeks medical marijuana license moratorium

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A legislator in Oklahoma is proposing a measure to place a moratorium on new medical marijuana licenses until regulators can confirm that existing operators are in full compliance with the law.

The proposed measure, House Bill 3208, is the latest example of some Oklahoma lawmakers trying to rein in one of the most business-friendly marijuana markets in the country.

Another lawmaker recently filed legislation to increase local control over cultivation licensing and, hence, curb the number of growers in the state.

“Since 2018, Oklahoma has seen a huge number of commercial medical marijuana grows and facilities flooding into our communities,” Oklahoma Rep. Rusty Cornwell, a Republican, told the Pauls Valley Democrat when explaining his moratorium bill.

“In the initial rush to roll out a system for granting commercial licenses, we’ve failed to enforce their compliance with state law,” he continued.

“House Bill 3208 would temporarily pause the issuance of commercial licenses so that we can confirm current operations are complying with the law.”

As of Jan. 6, Oklahoma had 12,197 active MMJ licenses, a 22% increase over the previous year, according to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

The number of active grower licenses alone totaled 8,306. The state has a population of 4 million.

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It’s unclear how much support the bills will get when the state’s legislative session starts Feb. 7.

Cornwell indicated that he and other lawmakers are concerned about potential money laundering because, he said, many individuals are paying cash to acquire the land for marijuana facilities.