Oklahoma may make it a bit more challenging for businesses to enter the medical cannabis industry, as the Oklahoma House passed a bill that would put a temporary license cap on medical cannabis businesses.
The House passed House Bill 2272 on March 10 in a 69-21 vote. As stated in the bill summary, the measure would “direct the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) to cap the number of dispensary, processor and grower licenses beginning Sept. 1, 2021.” This would include the total number of active licenses and pending applications submitted before that date.
Rep. Josh West, who created the bill, said he designed it in an effort to slow down the state’s growing illicit market industry, as reported by Oklahoma’s News 4.
While the state’s medical cannabis industry is booming, West argues that people are taking advantage of the OMMA’s limited insight into the industry by purchasing licenses with no intention of operating a business or skipping from license to license, as reported by Oklahoma’s News 4.
According to the article, the state has more than 10,000 active licenses for growers, processors and dispensaries; however, the bill aims to reduce the number of active licenses to 8,000: 2,000 dispensaries, 1,000 processors and 5,000 growers.
Starting on Sept. 1, 2021, any dispensary, processor or grower licensee who cannot prove he or she actively used the license for 18 months is not authorized to renew that license, the bill summary states.
The measure is now headed to the Oklahoma Senate, and if passed, it will remain in effect until September 2023.