Class Action Lawsuit filed against OMMA

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MARLOW, Okla. (TNN) - This week a Class Action Lawsuit was filed against the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

Attorney, Ronald Durbin, said the lawsuit is designed to protect medical marijuana businesses already in existence who were in compliance.

In May, Governor Kevin Stitt vetoed HB3228, which included reform for the medical marijuana industry. That in turn, caused the OMMA to deny license renewals to existing dispensaries who were not in compliance of being outside 1,000 feet of schools and also having two years of residency in Oklahoma.

“He vetoed it because there was a provision in there about delivery, and he didn’t like that provision,” said Durbin. “Unfortunately, neither did I, actually, but he vetoed it for that reason and when he did that he vetoed, you know, all of it goes. There’s a lot of really important reforms like these that got vetoed with the delivery.”

Durbin is representing the medical marijuana businesses in the lawsuit and said he hopes it can help protect those businesses who were already in existence and previously considered compliant.

“The people that are impacted by this are the mom and pops that have risked their entire life savings and their family’s life saving and they’ve uprooted their family,” said Durbin. “One of my clients who I filed the suit on behalf of, I mean, he brought himself, his wife and his family of four to Oklahoma. They don’t have a lot of money. They couldn’t pay a lawyer to fight this for them, and that’s why I’m doing all of this stuff pro bono.”

Julie Sanders, owner of Red Bud Dispensary in Marlow, said legislative decisions are being made without full understanding of the medical marijuana industry.

“It’s a new industry,” said Sanders. “Some people are not supportive of the industry, but you’ve still got to look at it, because when you look at the impact on lives, not just financial, but sales tax revenue coming in, the excise tax coming in. It is an investment, and it is a legal investment in Oklahoma and we just hope that our legislators will reach out to the industry and keep working with us to make sure that our industry is protected and that we’re not treated any differently than any other industry.”

“The lawsuit is essentially designed to protect the businesses that are already in existence,” said Durbin. “We’re not trying to change anything with the law, argue anything that needs to change, just everybody that’s already in a business that exists should be allowed to continue to operate.”

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