Oklahoma Appoints Former Oil Lobbyist as Medical Cannabis Regulator

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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R) has appointed a new director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the fourth appointment in the agency’s three-year history, Tulsa World reports. Stitt appointed former Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma employee and lobbyist Adria Berry to replace Kelly Williams.

The move comes in response to complaints from law enforcement agencies that cannabis cultivation is being taken over by “criminal companies,” the report said.

β€œI am committed to addressing the major challenges posed by the Oklahoma marijuana explosion across our state. Foreign nationals devour land in rural communities and drug traffickers abuse our laws and threaten our public safety. ”(Stitt in a statement)

Oklahoma has seen rapid growth in its medical cannabis market, prompting lawmakers to pass a law allowing OMMA to contract with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control to help enforce it. Additionally, House Majority Leader Jon Echols (R) has expressed an interest in moving OMMA from the Department of Health to its own agency or adding it to the Alcohol Law Enforcement Commission, which Stitt and the Senate oppose.

Echols said he and Berry “worked together on marijuana law and other business issues and we were able to develop a trusting working relationship.”

“I firmly believe that Adria will be a tremendous asset to the OMMA team,” he said.

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Lukas is a freelance medical cannabis writer and activist who lives in Tacoma. When he’s not writing about cannabis or working to bring a better medical cannabis system to Washington, he likes to hang up, do adaptive sports, and volunteer in his Tacoma community. He supports national legalization and the opening of the medical cannabis market in all 50 states.