New Medical Marijuana Requirements For Dispensaries Cause Confusion, Raise Concern

Thursday, September 12th 2019, 6:56 pm

Medical marijuana businesses statewide are now required under law to submit a certificate of compliance. The regulation, among others, went into effect in the end of August 2019. 

The certificate must be completed in order for business owners to obtain or renew their license. It outlines several codes that must be met, like electricity, plumbing, waste and safety.

Many business owners, like Jeff Williams at Green Bud Wellness in Oklahoma City, are growing frustrated with the new regulations.

Oklahoma City charges a $615 fee for the certificate.

“Electrical, fire and plumbing are still yet to come, I haven't heard from them, so I don't know,” said Williams. “I’ve tried calling, I’m up against a 30-day deadline.”

That deadline is for Williams’ dispensary license, the certificate required in order for that to be approved.

“We are just trying to follow the law, we are just trying to pay our taxes,” said Williams. “I should be treated no different than any other store around here. I talked to my neighbors, they didn't need a certificate of occupancy.”

Oklahoma City officials said its inspectors are overwhelmed with the new requirements. The $615+ fee is calculated based on the number of people required to do the job.

In smaller communities that price is lower, because normally one person can complete the task.

Williams was cited for his HVAC unit, and he's still not sure why.  He hopes things get sorted out and quick.

“I've been operating legally for a year. I pay between 5-7 grand in taxes every single month,” said Williams. “Why should I be treated any different?”

State health officials said medical marijuana businesses should still reapply for their license without a certificate of compliance before their expiration date.

Businesses will be able to operate under their previous license.