The criminal counts include marijuana cultivation, possession of a controlled substance without a tax stamp and — most notably — endeavoring to violate the U.S. Controlled Dangerous Substances Act. Cannabis, despite being legal in Oklahoma for medical use, remains classified as a Schedule I substance under federal law.
OBNDD spokesman Mark Woodward on Friday declined to comment on the case, which generated new attention this week after Tulsa attorney Ron Durbin posted about the situation on Facebook.
Durbin issued a call for medical marijuana businesses to ensure that their paperwork is in order.
“This is a big, big, big, big mess. And I think there’s gonna be a lot bigger story here,” Durbin said Friday afternoon. “Woodward and them are working on something much, much bigger.”
Woodward said the agency is in the process of “aggressively investigating” what he described as “fraudulent business structures” used to bring out-of-state interests to Oklahoma and circumvent the state’s two-year residency requirement for majority ownership in medical marijuana businesses.
“This is done by paying ‘ghost’ owners to put their name on licenses to claim ownership when they actually have no knowledge or true legal involvement in the grow operation,” Woodward said; he did not confirm the names of those being investigated.