Oklahoma regulators close 5 operations, seize ‘untraceable’ cannabis

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A multi-agency investigation in Oklahoma has resulted in the closure of five marijuana businesses and the seizure of thousands of pounds of untraceable cannabis.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), in conjunction with law enforcement agencies in Ponca City and Kay and Osage counties, seized or embargoed roughly 14,000 plants and 4,850 pounds of cannabis, The Oklahoman reported.

“This enforcement effort aligns with the strategic response to the supply and demand study we released in June, sending a strong message that illicit activity has nowhere to hide,” OMMA Executive Director Adria Berry said in a news release.

“This effort was only made possible due to the strong collaboration of all agencies involved and is a model for future enforcement action on a wide scale.”

The 25-page June report found that supply in Oklahoma’s medical marijuana market was at least 32 times higher than patient demand, helping fuel underground sales nationwide.

The investigation, which took place Sept. 11-14, included 19 routine compliance checks at licensed MMJ operations prompted by 11 complaints in the Ponca City area, roughly 100 miles north of Oklahoma City, according to The Oklahoman.

The investigation yielded several seizures, including:

  • 160 pounds of untraceable and untagged marijuana at Polar Lights.
  • Thousands of untagged and untraceable marijuana plants and numerous totes, coolers, plastic bags and trash bags filled with suspected illicit marijuana at JN Green Grow.
  • 31 vacuum-sealed bags with untraceable marijuana at Dihow.
  • More than 3,400 untagged marijuana plants and untraceable harvested marijuana at Zhangs Farm.
  • 214 pounds of untraceable marijuana at L&L Magic Grower.

Oklahoma’s legal MMJ businesses are required by law to either integrate with or input their information into the Metrc track-and-trace system.

Many of the systemic challenges facing legal marijuana businesses in Oklahoma have been self-inflicted.

Production was largely unchecked for years as the state’s MMJ market surged amid limited regulatory restrictions and enforcement, creating a proliferation of unlicensed operators in the process.