Monday, January 30, 2023

Sen. Coleman files bill to grant greater local control over marijuana businesses

Coleman files bill to grant greater local control over marijuana businesses

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 27th) – Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City, has authored legislation to give municipalities more control over allowing marijuana grow operations within their city limits. Senate Bill 801 would allow cities and towns to modify their standard planning and zoning procedures to determine or forbid certain zones or districts for the operation of new marijuana-licensed premises, medical marijuana businesses, or any other premises where marijuana or its by-products are cultivated, grown, processed, stored, or manufactured starting Nov. 1, 2023.

“Currently, Oklahoma’s statutes are confusing as to whether municipalities have the power to decide if they want marijuana grows in their communities, so this gives them control of such decisions for businesses licensed after Nov. 1,” Coleman said. “This should be a decision left up to local authorities as they have to deal with the increased crime, the odor, and other dangers like large building fires that endanger not only other businesses but residents as well.”

Under SB 801, any marijuana businesses licensed prior to Nov. 1, 2023, could continue to operate until they were no longer licensed by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

Coleman pointed to the recent fire that took out a large marijuana grow in downtown Tonkawa on Jan. 19 as an example of just one of the dangers municipalities must consider. The building was a total loss and residents who lived nearby were evacuated, while other downtown businesses were told to shelter in place.  It required multiple agencies from surrounding areas to help put out the fire.

The bill will be up for consideration when the Legislature convenes next month.


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