What to know about the new round of marijuana laws
As lawmakers rushed to meet last Thursday’s deadline to have the bills read in their original houses, more than 30 medical marijuana-related bills advanced from the House and Senate floors.
The bills focused on increasing regulation of marijuana businesses, changing the licensing process, strengthening OMMA, and changing the destination structure of marijuana revenue.
Here are some of the bills that advanced from their original homes this week:
Marijuana Business Requirements:
- HB2025– Would require all marijuana businesses and facilities to display their OMMA-issued license in a prominent location.
- SB1779 – Would require signage at the entrance to a business property indicating the business license number and a telephone number.
- HB3827 – Would require all commercial medical marijuana grower license holders with an outdoor production facility to register with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry as an owner of ecologically sensitive crops. The recording would provide notice to nearby pesticide applicators, with the aim of minimizing pesticide drift.
- HB4056- Would require a private laboratory under contract with OMMA to provide a list of recommendations for marijuana testing equipment, along with testing standards and operating procedures. From June 2024, laboratories renewing their accreditation and new laboratories wishing to obtain accreditation will have to comply with the determined standards.
- HB3752– It would be illegal for a crop owner to abandon the property without first restoring the land to its original condition.
- SB1697 – Would require marijuana growers to acquire a bond before receiving their license or license renewal for land reclamation purposes. Each applicant should post a bond of at least $25,000 with OMMA. OMMA may request a higher amount if recovering the land after leaving the cultivation facility proves more difficult.
- SB1693- Would require applicants and licensees of commercial growers and processors to obtain a water use permit from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board if they use water from groundwater or a stream of Oklahoma, as well as obtaining an official statement of permission from the political subdivision supplying the water if you are using rural or municipal water.
- HB3929 – Would require OMMA to develop standards for process validation. Validation of the process would be voluntary and would require licensees to use the system from seed to sale, meet testing requirements, and pay an annual fee of $2,500.
Packaging and sales conditions:
- HB4287 – Requires processors and growers to sell marijuana only in prepackaged form, in package sizes ranging from one-eighth of an ounce to one ounce. Marijuana displays and smelling would still be allowed, but “deli” type sales would no longer be permitted.
- HB4288 – Would require all perishable marijuana products to be labeled with a maximum six-month expiration date or a best-before date if the product has not undergone stability testing. It also requires OMMA to establish stability testing standards by November 1, 2022.
- HB3019 – Would require purchased marijuana leaving a dispensary to be contained in an exit package, which is described as an opaque bag. It would also require marijuana containers to be labeled “For use only by patients licensed to use marijuana for medical purposes” and “Keep out of reach of children” on the container. The container may be transparent.
- SB1219 – At least 50% of medical marijuana edible product containers should be transparent and the product should be visible through the transparent portion. It would also require the letters “THC” to be pressed or printed on solid or semi-solid products.
Strengthening OMMA and enforcement:
- HB3208– Would issue a moratorium on business licenses for two years or until OMMA can complete all pending licensing reviews, inspections and investigations.
- HB3971 – Would implement a secret shopper program in which OMMA employees would purchase marijuana from dispensaries and send it to labs to test for contaminants and potency.
- HB3813 – Would designate OMMA inspectors as law enforcement and allow them to aid and assist in enforcement and prosecution.
- HB4411- Would mandate OMMA to administer at least one inspection per year for licensed marijuana businesses and facilities.
- HB4055 – Would require utility companies to submit monthly reports to OMMA on the amount of water, electricity and/or other utilities used by commercial producers.
- SB1688- Would allow property owned, used, or available for use in any unauthorized cultivation, distribution, processing, sale, or transfer of marijuana to be subject to asset forfeiture.
- SB1543 – Would remove OMMA as a division of the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Rather, OMMA would operate as its own separate entity.
- SB1367- Would increase penalty for patients who share or sell marijuana to unauthorized persons. For the first offence, the fine is $400 (instead of $200). For the second offence, the fine is $1,000 (instead of $500) and the offender will have his license permanently revoked.
- SB1704- Would increase penalty for marijuana businesses or employees who share or sell marijuana to unauthorized persons. For the first offence, the costs are $5,000 (instead of $1,000). For the second offence, the costs are $15,000 (instead of $5,000) and the offender is subject to the revocation of his licence.
Restructuring of the authorization process:
- HB2179- Would increase annual license fees for producers based on the size of their facility. All producers would pay $2,500 as a base. Indoor facilities and greenhouses or light deprivation facilities over 1,667 square feet would then pay an additional $1.50 per square foot of their facility. Outdoor grows larger than 83,334 square feet would pay $0.03 more per square foot.
- HB3634 – Would create a wholesaler license level to manage marijuana sales and distribution channels.
- HB3734 – Would require new marijuana businesses to purchase temporary conditional licenses before being issued an annual business license. To obtain a temporary license, business owners should disclose all relevant financial information, all sources of utility usage, and proof of insurance.
- SB1755- Would allow applicants to obtain a conditional license if they have not obtained all necessary permits from their municipality and completed the necessary inspections. A conditional license does not permit the applicant to operate as a licensed business.
- HB3891 – Would add growing and processing facilities to the list of new businesses that must be at least 1,000 feet from a school property boundary, including pre-Kindergarten and vocational technology schools, as well as properties used for school athletics such as stadiums and baseball fields.
- SB1726-Would add commercial grow operations to the list of new marijuana businesses that must establish at least 1,000 from a school. It would also add technology centers primarily used for classroom instruction to the definition of “school”.
- SB1841- Would allow OMMA to deny license applications, suspend or revoke business licenses due to any violation of state law.
Marijuana tax revenue restructuring:
- HB3530 – Would require the first $5 million in marijuana sales tax to be allocated to the County Sheriff’s Public Safety Grant Revolving Fund, which would be used for marijuana law enforcement.
- SB1848 – Would change marijuana sales tax allocations. The first $65 million would be split as follows: 64% (from 59.23%) would go to the State Common Public Schools Building Equalization Fund, 30% (from 34.62%) would go to OMMA and the 6.15% allocated to the OSDH for drug and alcohol rehabilitation is replaced by a newly created drug and alcohol rehabilitation fund with a rate of 6%.
- SB1302- Would add marijuana tax to the list of taxes for which the Tax Commission may file an assessment.
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