U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has requested $4 million in federal funds to combat illegal cannabis cultivation in the Sooner State, the Associated Press reports. The request was made by Luke Holland, Inhofe’s chief of staff, during an Oklahoma Sheriffs Association meeting.
The request asks for direct appropriation of the funds through the U.S. Justice Department to establish a unit to combat “transnational and national drug organizations” within the state Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The agency would work with sheriffs to fight illegal cannabis operations in the state.
In April, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) seized cannabis grown illegally by one of the company’s licensed under the state’s medical cannabis law—one of the most liberal in the nation.
Following the bust, Mark Woodward, an OBN spokesperson, told OKC FOX that the agency had information showing the business was a front for a criminal organization “moving large quantities of marijuana on the black market under the guise” of the medical cannabis program.
State Senator Casey Murdoch (R) told OKC FOX that foreign nationals have been buying up land in the state for more than its worth, obtaining a medical cannabis cultivation license, and diverting the products, despite the medical cannabis law requiring 75% of cannabis businesses in the state be owned by someone who lives in the state. Murdoch is also the author of a bill that would require medical cannabis operators to disclose any foreign investments.
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