Oklahoma Names Former Oil Lobbyist to Medical Cannabis Regulatory Agency

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) appointed Adria Berry—a former staffer and lobbyist for the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma—to head the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. It’s the agency’s fourth such appointment in its three-year history.

Full story after the jump.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) has appointed a new director to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the fourth appointment in the agency’s three-year history, the Tulsa World reports. Stitt named former staffer and lobbyist for the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma Adria Berry to replace Kelly Williams, but in a separate announcement, the OMMA announced Williams “will continue to work with the agency, providing her expertise and guidance.”

The move is in response to complaints from law enforcement that cannabis grow operations are being taken over by “criminal enterprises,” the report says.

“I am committed to tackling the major challenges that the explosion of marijuana in Oklahoma is causing across our state. Foreign nationals are gobbling up land in rural communities and drug traffickers are exploiting our laws and threatening our public safety.”Stitt in a statement

Oklahoma has seen rapid growth in its medical cannabis market, prompting the legislature to pass a law allowing OMMA to contract with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control to help with enforcement. Additionally, House Majority Leader Jon Echols (R), has expressed interest in moving OMMA out of the Department of Health and into its own agency or make it a part of the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission, something Stitt, and the Senate oppose.

Echols said Berry and he “have worked together on marijuana legislation and other business issues, where we’ve been able to shape a working relationship built on trust.”

“I have the utmost confidence that Adria is going to be a tremendous addition to the OMMA team,” he said.

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