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Moratorium on commercial marijuana licenses starts Aug. 26

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The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is processing an influx of applications for new grower, dispensary and processor licenses as a moratorium on new licenses begins Aug. 26.

Current grower, dispensary and processor licenses are not affected by the legislation that created the moratorium, House Bill 3208.

“This does not affect license transfers, this does not affect license renewals, and it also does not affect patient licenses,” OMMA Director Adria Berry said in an announcement July 28.

According to a Saturday update from Berry, OMMA originally made an administrative error in interpreting HB3208.

“The language in the bill states the moratorium begins Aug. 1, but the bill itself did not earn enough votes in the Oklahoma Legislature to take effect until Aug. 26 — the state has a two-thirds vote requirement for bills to take effect sooner than 90 days after adjournment,” according to an OMMA news release.

The moratorium ends Aug. 26, 2024, or earlier if OMMA determines that all pending license reviews, inspections and investigations are complete.

Berry noted that OMMA has 90 days to process new requests for commercial licenses, implying that those applying this month may not receive a reply until November.

“We may need to take that entire 90 days, especially with the influx in commercial license applications we’re seeing right now,” Berry said, “so I ask that you give us a little grace, have a little patience with us.”

After 12:01 a.m. Aug. 26, any applicant for a grower, dispensary or processor application whose application is denied may not apply for a new license until the moratorium is over. Licensees who surrender a license after Aug. 26 also may not apply for a new one during the moratorium.

Any licensed grower, dispensary or processor that allows its OMMA license to expire after Aug. 26 without submitting a renewal application may not apply for a renewal or a new license during the moratorium.

“We’re double-checking every piece of legislation affecting OMMA from the last legislative session,” Berry said in a news release about the misinterpretation of HB 3208. “We hold ourselves to a high standard, and we fell short in this instance. We hope the transparency in our message today is evidence that we take seriously the trust Oklahomans place in OMMA.”

Another measure now in effect, Senate Bill 1511, would affect new applicants for a grower license, as cultivation operations must now be located at least 1,000 from a school or technology center.

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Gov. Stitt’s State of the State message on medical marijuana: ‘We must get it under control’

Feb. 7, 2022 video. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt delivered his State of the State address at the state Capitol.

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