Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) has signed a bill extending the moratorium on new medical cannabis cultivation licenses in the state through 2026, KTEN reports. The measure also prohibits undocumented workers from working on state-approved cannabis farms.
“If there is a medicine that is going to help someone, then Oklahomans have a big heart and we want that to help somebody, but this has gotten out of control. We have to make sure we have law and order to get illegal people and organized crime out of the State of Oklahoma.” — Stitt via KTEN
The law also includes provisions to punish cannabis farmers who employ undocumented workers and implements stricter licensing measures. Under the law, cannabis farmers who are caught employing undocumented workers face a misdemeanor punishable by one-year imprisonment or a fine up to $500, or both. The state also has the option to revoke a grower’s license and deny future license applications, according to the bill text.
Oklahoma lawmakers have been passing laws trying to reign in the state’s cannabis cultivation industry after a series of arrests of so-called “ghost owners” — individuals who obtained cannabis cultivation licenses for third parties, including foreign nationals. In March, the Senate passed a bill to let the state’s medical cannabis agency shut down non-eco-friendly cannabis cultivation operations, and last month Stitt signed a measure requiring growers to hold a $50,000 bond before they can begin operations.
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