OMMA’s New Regulations Face Legal Scrutiny – What Comes Next?

by | Sep 2, 2021 | Industry News

The ever-expanding Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) has recently been the subject of legal scrutiny following its new rules and regulations.

It all started with OMMA’s attempt at an accelerated implementation of the Metrc cannabis track and trace system into the state program’s database. Okmulgee county business representative Beau Zoellner decided to pursue a court case against OMMA, on the grounds of their facilitation of market monopoly through the contract that they signed with Metrc last year.

The court’s ruling has postponed the full implementation of the state’s track and trace system by at least two months, until the court’s next appeal on June 30th. 

For now, OMMA cannot require the state’s medical marijuana businesses to purchase Metrc products or interact with their platform in any way, unless they choose to do so voluntarily. 

How Do the New OMMA Regulations Affect the Marijuana Market?

The continued absence of a cannabis track and trace system within Oklahoma’s marijuana sale database has resulted in local authorities having to conduct wide-range investigations for potential arrests for black-market sales of marijuana. 

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN)  has recently made one such arrest in the town of Guthrie, where entire trucks of marijuana were seized on the grounds of black-market outsourcing of MMJ products.

Without a track and trace system, the OBN finds it difficult to pinpoint exactly which of the state’s dispensaries and local growers are conducting their business legally.

And because of OMMA’s lenient regulations around the growing of cannabis, the Oklahoma market is a prime target for black-market sales, at the very least until the database for marijuana-related sales and purchases will be officialized. 

State Representatives Take Action on New OMMA Laws

This legality gap has not gone unnoticed by the state’s lawmakers. Oklahoma state representatives intend to work together with OMMA in order to improve upon the medical marijuana laws and regulations currently in place.

The following medical marijuana program bills are in discussion for this year’s legislative session:

  • HB 2646 – Allowing OMMA to recall contaminated or illegitimate cannabis products and revoke license renewals for businesses who have been previously suspended.
  • HB 2272 – Allowing OMMA to suspend and/or revoke the license of a medical marijuana business that cannot prove foreign ownership within 60 days of their license application.
  • HB 2674 – Transferring the operational ownership of OMMA from the state’s Department of Health to the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission, prioritizing OMMA law enforcement measures at a hierarchical level. 

Interested in becoming a medical marijuana patient? – Find out How to Get a Medical Marijuana card in Oklahoma.