Making the cut: Oklahoma governor signs final round of medical cannabis legislation for 2022 session
As the legislature entered its last day of session on Friday, the long list of cannabis laws had been whittled down to just over a dozen new bills.
Overall, strengthening OMMA’s authority, adding regulations to business owners and restructuring the license fee process were the central themes of this year’s session.
Notably, HB4287 — a bill generating industry buzz that would have required dispensaries to switch from “deli-style” flower selection to pre-packaged cannabis flower — did not pass.
Several of the bills also sought to clamp down on the cannabis black market – a problem compounded by various large scale illegal marijuana busts.
Here are the cannabis-related bills that have passed this legislative session:
Marijuana Business Requirements:
- HB4056– Requires 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– Makes it illegal for a cash crop owner to abandon the property without first restoring the land to its original condition.
- HB3929– 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 $5,000.
- SB1704– Requires employees of medical marijuana companies to apply for a credential that authorizes them to work in the company. One or more third-party providers would manage the accreditation process by conducting background checks and verifying eligibility and suitability. If the application is not approved, the applicant may appeal the decision to WOMM.
- SB1737– Requires all commercial growers to post at least 18”x24” signage around the perimeter of the grow operation. Signs must include the name of the business, the physical address of the business, a telephone number, and the business license number. If a producer does not put up the required signage within 60 days of renewing their license, the license will be revoked. The bill also requires all commercial growers with outdoor operations to register with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry as an owner of susceptible crops. environment – this alerts nearby pesticide applicators with the aim of minimizing pesticide drift.
- HB3530– Creates the County Sheriff Public Safety Grant Revolving Fund, which would be used for marijuana law enforcement. It would be funded by money received by OMMA, as well as federal funds, grants or donations from public or private sources.
Change in packaging requirements:
- HB3019– Requires purchased marijuana leaving a dispensary to be contained in an exit package, which is described as an opaque bag. Marijuana containers would also need to be marked “For use by patients licensed to use marijuana for medical purposes only” and “Keep out of reach of children” on the container. The container may be transparent.
Strengthening OMMA and enforcement:
Restructuring of the authorization process:
HB2179– Increases annual license fees for growers based on the size of their canopy; for processors based on the amount of marijuana processed; for dispensaries on the basis of a tax formula, and would introduce a fixed fee for testing laboratories.
- All producers pay $2,500 as a base.
- Indoor facilities and greenhouses or light deprivation facilities with canopies over 1,667 square feet then pay an additional $2,500 for up to 10,000 square feet of canopy. For 10,001 to 20,000 square feet, the fee is $5,000. These tiered rates continue, with maximum charges for more than 100,000 square feet of awning at $50,000, plus 25 cents per additional square foot of awning.
- Canopy is defined as “the total area of a growing area dedicated to the cultivation of flowering marijuana plants”.
- Outdoor grows with canopies over 83,334 square feet pay an additional $2,500 for up to 2.5 acres. For 2.5 to 5 acres, the fee is $5,000. These graduated rates continue, with a maximum fee for 50 acres at $40,000, plus $250 per additional acre.
- Processors pay a $2,000 application fee for up to 2,000 pounds of dried marijuana, with an annual fee of $3,500. For 2001-3000 books, the application fee increases to $2,500 and the annual fee to $5,000. For more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana, the application fee increases to $15,000 and the annual fee to $20,000.
- For dispensaries, in addition to the $2,500 application fee, the annual fee is calculated as 10% of the sum of 12 calendar months of combined annual sales tax and excise tax for the dispensary. Minimum fees must be at least $2,500 and maximum fees cannot exceed $10,000.
- The annual fee for a testing laboratory license is $20,000.
- SB1726– Adds commercial grow operations to the list of new marijuana businesses that must establish at least 1,000 from a public or private school. It would also add technology centers primarily used for classroom instruction to the definition of “school”.