Oklahoma medical marijuana grower loses license over residency issue

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Oklahoma regulators stripped medical marijuana cultivator Sun Light Farm of its state license after an administrative law judge ruled that the company “submitted fraudulent ownership information in its license renewal application.”

According to a news release, the judge agreed with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) legal team and investigators that the local resident listed in ownership documents for the grow operation in Sayre was not the actual owner, a practice known as straw or ghost ownership.

“This is a preview of what’s coming from OMMA as we continue to build our legal and investigative teams and capabilities,” the agency’s executive director, Adria Berry, said in a statement.

“This was a clear case of fraudulent ownership where non-Oklahoma residents tried to illegally work their way into our state.”

State law and OMMA rules require that at least 75% of an MMJ business be owned by an Oklahoma resident or residents.

According to the release, OMMA’s legal team and investigators are reviewing more than 70 business license applications for suspected fraudulent ownership, including new businesses filed before an August 2022 moratorium on new licenses for growers, processors and dispensaries.

Earlier this month, Oklahoma voters soundly rejected an adult-use measure in a special election, fanning industry fears the defeat would be the beginning of statewide crackdowns on the state’s business-friendly MMJ market.