State Question 820 failed, sending a clear message that Oklahoma opposes unfettered access to marijuana.
The House has worked diligently to uphold the will of the people expressed through the SQ788 vote, and will do the same with the SQ820 vote.
Oklahomans want more guardrails to ensure illegal activity is curbed and bad actors are found.
An overabundance of producers and too few enforcement agents has increased black market activity in Oklahoma. To date, Oklahoma has seized over 600,000 pounds of illegal marijuana, deactivated over 800 illegal marijuana farms, and arrested 165 people.
Thanks to last year’s implementation of the seed-to-sale system, government regulation of the industry is at an all-time high, but we still need more enforcement of current laws to stop bad actors.
Last year, the House appropriated over $10 million to enhance the enforcement of medical marijuana laws.
The influx of marijuana farms in rural Oklahoma has stressed rural water and electric services. There is such a high demand for utilities from marijuana production that there is little remaining for the farmers and ranchers that drive our economy and feed our state.
On top of that, law enforcement in rural areas is stretched thin, trying to curb illegal activity.
The House is working on several steps to help Oklahomans feel more secure and root out illegal activity in the marijuana industry.
First, House Bill 2061, authored by Rep. Hardin, is on the House calendar. It would provide $5 million to the County Sheriff’s Public Safety Grant Revolving Fund to perform the duties imposed upon OMMA and assist local law enforcement personnel.
House Bill 1347, authored by Rep. Fetgatter, passed the House floor 84-6. It requires OMMA to select, through a competitive bidding process, a vendor that will produce and provide a seed-to-sale inventory tracking system for medical marijuana and business licensees.
Over the last few sessions, the House has continued to pass substantive bills that would accomplish the goal of curbing illegal activity in the industry, only to see them fail in the Senate. The hope is that the House’s legislation will get across the finish line this year.
Last week was short, but this week is deadline week, so I expect it to be packed with hearing bills!
I am thankful and honored that the constituents of House District 31 have entrusted me with the responsibility of serving in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any concerns at 405-557-7350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rep. Collin Duel, a Republican, serves District 31 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Oklahoma counties.
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