Law enforcement officials in Oklahoma are cracking down on alleged criminal organizations operating under the guise of the state’s medical cannabis program, serving search warrants at nearly a dozen cannabis farms throughout the state over the last two weeks, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) said in a press release.
OBN Spokesman Mark Woodward described the enforcement action as “another phase” in the agency’s “ongoing focus to aggressively target criminals hiding within the state’s medical marijuana program.”
“For over two years, OBN has identified numerous individuals and organizations that have moved to Oklahoma from out of State and used fraudulent business structures and so-called ‘ghost owners’ to obtain their Oklahoma Medical Marijuana licenses. These criminals try to blend into our state’s Medical Marijuana program while trafficking marijuana onto the illicit market around the United States, laundering money and moving millions of dollars in illicit drug proceeds overseas.” — Woodward in a statement
The action led to the seizure of 79,157 illegally cultivated cannabis plants, 3,139 pounds of processed cannabis, and 16 firearms. Twenty people have already been arrested with more arrests expected, OBN said.
“As these investigations continue across Oklahoma, we plan to focus on criminal growers and business owners,” Woodward said in a statement, “as well as the entities that helped facilitate the fraudulent documentation allowing these criminal organizations to get an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana license.”
OBN Director Donnie Anderson said the crackdown is meant to make “it very clear that Oklahoma is not a safe harbor for criminals who think they can hide behind a Medical Marijuana license.”
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