OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry continues to skyrocket, regulators have had a hard time keeping up with enforcement.
“We’ve gone from zero medical marijuana businesses in Oklahoma in June of 2018 and now we have over 12,000,” said Adria Berry, the executive director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). “With the very, very quick growth, the OMMA did have a hard time keeping up with inspecting all the businesses.”
Last month, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics told KFOR many of the businesses were illegally obtaining licenses and were run by criminal organizations.
In January, KFOR also reported some Oklahoma marijuana processors were concerned most of its products were failing inspection.
Perhaps, the biggest problem, according to Berry, is that the OMMA didn’t have enough staff to physically inspect each business. So, the first item on their agenda is to hire enough people so they have 90-full time compliance inspectors.
“[Our goal is for] every corner of the state has regional inspectors,” said Berry. “So that folks in rural parts of the state know exactly who their own compliance inspector is, and they can call them, ask them questions about the rules, find out how to be in compliance and maybe even report behavior that looks questionable.”
She said so far, the OMMA has 48 inspectors on staff.
“Right now, the legislature wants us to do two inspections per year per facility,” Berry said. “Our goal though, to start out, is to start out walking before we run and that means we need to inspect every facility at least once by December of 2022.”
Berry said the OMMA has already completed about 25 percent of its inspections. It hopes to complete 12 per week.
The OMMA is also working on getting a “seed to sale” tracking software legalized. Berry said the software will significantly cut down inspection time.
The hearing for that is Feb. 24.