Oklahoma medical marijuana regulators sued over new business rules

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Two Oklahoma attorneys sued the state’s medical marijuana regulators, claiming the MMJ board didn’t adhere to public meeting laws in adopting new emergency rules that have a wide range of business impacts.

According to The Oklahoman, the rules, which took effect June 28, include a number of changes that affect medical cannabis inventory tracking, inspections, licensing and other areas.

The lawsuit, filed in Oklahoma County District Court, specifically alleges that the Food Safety Standards Board distributed an incomplete and “intentionally misleading” agenda for the June 16 meeting and failed to give timely notice of that meeting, the newspaper reported.

Here are examples from a state summary of the emergency rule changes:

  • Adds language requiring operators to maintain written standard operating procedures and use a seed-to-sale tracking system or integrate their tracking system with the state’s inventory tracking system.
  • Redefines marijuana as specifically not including any plant or material containing delta-8 THC.
  • Adds a provision allowing municipal governments to object to a dispensary renewal or ownership transfer if the required setback distance to a school hasn’t been met.
  • Creates new language allowing a grower, processor or transporter to submit documentation adding a publicly traded company as an owner of up to 40% of the business.

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority spokeswoman Terri Watkins told The Oklahoman that the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

The suit was filed by Oklahoma attorneys Ron Durbin and Rachel Bussett, both of whom were actively involved in the development of the state’s medical marijuana law and have filed lawsuits to ensure that the statute is being upheld.