Lawton City Council sets new licensing fee for dispensaries

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The operations manager of Werewolf Pharm says he knew the fee was going up, but didn’t know how much... until it was time to renew.

“We didn’t find out about it until I went to apply for another license. I would have never found out about it. It’s not posted anywhere, they didn’t come out and tell anybody”, says Airieous Ervin.

Another owner says it will not only affect his business, but his patients.

“You have to budget for in your month and that budget is already shrinking because of the saturated market that we have at the time. So that’s just gonna increase our operating costs obviously you have to pass it down to your to your patients so the patient’s suffering at the end”, says Thomas Steadham.

Councilman Randy Warren said raising the fee was to make sure taxpayer dollars were being spent judiciously.

“We raised it because of the staff time that’s involved. In order to be inspected every year then we’re going to have to send out multiple departments to look at fire, safety and all those types of things”, says Warren.

But business owners think this will hit small businesses harder than larger corporations.

I feel like it’s gonna hurt a lot of people and it’s going to drive the wrong people out. Those big companies that’s coming in here, it’s not gonna drive them out you know. It’s the small mom and pops that born and raised here. High school, elementary, went through here, that’s who it’s going to affect, not these big companies”, says Ervin.