Oklahoma high court declines to hear challenge to medical cannabis fees

Did you miss the webinar “Women Leaders in Cannabis: Shattering the Grass Ceiling?” Head to MJBiz YouTube to watch it now!


The Oklahoma Supreme Court declined to hear arguments challenging a new law that significantly raises fees for medical cannabis operators.

Filed in late June, the petition will now be sent to district court in Oklahoma County, The Oklahoman reported.

The petition – filed by Jeb Green, founder of Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action, as well as the Bingo 101, Oklahoma Natural Cures and Pharside dispensaries – claims the new fee structure violates the state constitution and is a “revenue-raising tax disguised as a fee.”

The challenge also alleges the bill wasn’t passed through the three-fourths majority required by state law and its approval came within the last five days of the legislative session.

Oklahoma law prohibits lawmakers from passing revenue-generating bills during the last five days of a legislative session.

The state attorney general’s office argued the bill was not a revenue generator subject to constitutional stipulations – since Oklahoma had a budget surplus – but, rather, a public-safety issue and a means to decrease the oversupply of marijuana, according to The Oklahoman.

The fee changes were authorized in May 2022 when Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 2179 into law.

In Oklahoma, Republicans also control the offices of secretary of state, attorney general, and both legislative chambers.

The law, which took effect June 1, 2023, changed the fee structure that licensed growers are required to pay the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

Instead of a flat rate of $2,500, cultivators are now charged a graduated fee based on a grow’s total square footage.

Those fees can now escalate to as high as $50,000.