Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Bullard measure to keep marijuana grows away from churches passes Senate

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Bullard measure to keep marijuana grows away from churches passes Senate

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate approved legislation Tuesday to keep marijuana grow operations away from Oklahoma’s religious institutions. Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, authored the legislation to extend the same protections to churches as schools currently have regarding where grows can be established. Senate Bill 116 would create a 1,000 feet setback requirement from any place of worship for medical marijuana commercial grower facilities.

“Given that we now have more grows than churches in our state, it’s important that we extend the same protections to them as our schools,” Bullard said. “We need to make sure grow operations stay in more industrial and business areas where the fumes won’t bother nearby citizens.”

Under current law, dispensaries and grows are already prohibited from being within 1,000 feet of schools. Those facilities already licensed and located within 1,000 feet of a church or the future location of one will not be barred from license renewal.

According to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), there are currently 6,975 grows throughout the state – a number that changes regularly. While there is no official calculation, it’s estimated that there are nearly 6,900 churches in the state.

Rep. Danny Williams, R-Seminole, is the principal House author of the measure, which will now move to that chamber.


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