New medical marijuana laws are igniting big changes across the state.
Using the newly passed Senate Bill 1030, the City of Noble has placed a temporary moratorium on all new marijuana grow operations.
Noble Assistant City Manager Robert Porton said the decision was made Tuesday at a city council meeting. The City believes it will give the public, officials and planning commission a chance to weigh-in on-site locations before they open.
It does not impact dispensary locations.
“Based on the rights that have been given to us by Senate Bill 1030, which clearly state states that cities have the right to follow their standard planning and zoning procedures for non-retail marijuana businesses,” said Porton.
Read Related Story: State AG’s Opinion On Medical Marijuana Dispensary Locations Worries Owners
But for Noble Cannabis Company, this decision could not have come at a worse time.
They planned on opening a dispensary and grow operation in a two-story location on Main Street on October 1.
While the City takes no issue with the dispensary, the company will have to wait to see if their growth will be approved or denied.
Lucas Sloan said that the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority approved both licenses. While in the same building, they are technically under two different addresses, and on different floors.
While Noble Cannabis Company will still be able to open the dispensary part of their shop downstairs, the grow operation upstairs is on hold.
Sloan said he and his partner, Cheyenne Phillips, may have to liquidate their inventory.
“I was on my way there when I got the email it wasn't going to be approved,” said Sloan.
“We are trying to figure out what our options are. We don't even want to think about that being the worst-case scenario,” said Phillips.
Noble Cannabis Company has worked for a year to build their business, according to its owners. However, the duo knows this is not a personal attack on their shop, just bad timing.
Still, the decision could mean selling off their plants and losing an estimated $50,000 investment.
The City of Noble confirms some businesses were given clearance before the moratorium was put in place.
Porton estimates the moratorium will be lifted within 90 days, though no official timeline has been given.
Sloan and Phillips said they wanted to keep their shop local, which is why they chose Noble. They said they even scouted approved locations but did not anticipate the laws would change to impact them in such a big way.
Sloan said the future is uncertain, and a lot is on the line.
“We don't know what the city wants to do. We are at the city’s mercy,” he said.
The team said if they are forced to sell their supply, they would then need to buy the product from someone else. It will likely mean they would have to raise their prices, and it would make them less competitive with other shops.