Oklahoma Cannabis Regulators Sued Over Closed-Door Meetings

A new lawsuit claims that the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority violated the state’s Open Meetings Act while enacting emergency cannabis industry regulations.

Full story after the jump.

A lawsuit filed against the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) accuses the agency of violating the state’s Open Meetings Act, Fox 25 reports. Plaintiffs allege that the board, without public input, passed new emergency regulations for the cannabis industry. The lawsuit names OMMA Director Kelly Williams, her secretary, and new members of the board of health and food safety standards.

Attorney Ron Durbin, who filed the lawsuit, and his co-counsel on the case Rachel Bussett said the rules were enacted despite there being no agenda posted, no outreach to the state’s cannabis community, and that the members voting on the rules were given little time to read them.

“They did it in a sneaky and underhanded way. Intentionally or unintentionally, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.” Bussett to Fox25

Durbin also filed a separate lawsuit in April challenging the implementation of the METRC’s seed-to-sale tracking system, claiming it would allow for a monopoly.

OMMA denies the claims of the lawsuit, telling FOX25 in a statement that the agency “continues to follow rules regarding public meetings and the opportunity for public comment.”

“We look forward to further engaging with licensees and other community members when the opportunity for public comment becomes available in the coming months,” the OMMA said in the statement. “The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is committed to protecting patients and fulfilling our mission to ensure safe and responsible practices in licensing, regulating, and administering the medical marijuana program. While keeping a focus on patient safety, [Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH)] and OMMA diligently following legislative rules and intent.”

Durbin said he would like to see OMMA moved from under the authority of the OSDH and under the purview of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

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