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Agricultural News

Moore Bill on Marijuana Grow Reclamation Passes in House

Thu, 21 Apr 2022 11:49:49 CDT

Moore Bill on Marijuana Grow Reclamation Passes in House Rep. Anthony Moore, R-Clinton, today received passage of Senate Bill 1697 through the House. The bill, authored by Sen. Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher, in the Senate, would require all applicants for a medical marijuana commercial grower license and commercial grower licensees to file with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) a bond in an amount of no less than $25,000 for each license sought or held that covers the land where the licensee will conduct grow operations.

"This bill is part of our effort to make sure that we have a safe and legal medical marijuana industry in Oklahoma, pursuant to what Oklahomans voted for in State Question 788," Moore said. "When some of these businesses go up in smoke, our counties are left holding the bag for land that is difficult to reclaim and reuse for other purposes after it gets abandoned. This bill makes sure there is more accountability for those deciding to open a marijuana grow business."

The bill also allows for OMMA to require a higher amount for the bond depending upon the probable difficulty of reclamation with consideration for topography, hydrology and revegetation potential.

"As we strengthen our medical marijuana laws to ensure only legitimate businesses are in operation, we need to make sure these business owners have some skin in the game," Jech said. "Unfortunately, right now, businesses that shut down and walk away from their grows are leaving behind a mess that is costly for the state. By requiring a minimum $25,000 bond for each commercial grower license sought, we are ensuring that if these grows are abandoned, the state will have the funds to clean up the land and reclaim that property without it being a burden to Oklahoma taxpayers. I'm thankful my colleagues saw the necessity of this measure, and I'm excited to see it go to the governor's desk for his consideration."

"In addition to more accountability, this bill will protect rural Oklahomans from expensive reclamation," Moore added. "SB1697 has an added benefit of helping us root out illegal grow operations and discourage those who would try to skirt our laws. It's a win for all Oklahomans and I look forward to Gov. Stitt's approval of the legislation."

SB1697 will now be sent to the governor's desk for review and approval.



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