Beef Buzz News
OCA's Michael Kelsey: We Need to Take a Pause on Issuing New Medical Marijuana Grower Permits
Tue, 21 Sep 2021 13:19:21 CDT
On Friday, the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association joined a coalition of organizations requesting Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Director Adria Berry to adopt a temporary moratorium on issuing new marijuana grower permits. Monday afternoon, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays spoke with OCA Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey on this issue.
Listen to Ron's conversation with Michael here
The letter to Berry states, “According to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s (OMMA) website as of September 3, there were more than 8,600 grower permits issued in the state of Oklahoma.” According to the 2017 agricultural census by the USDA, that exceeds the number of wheat farms, pork farms, soybean farms, cotton farms and dairy farms combined.
“We have got a big problem,” Kelsey said. “This is fundamentally changing the fabric of rural Oklahoma.”
Issues like over usage of water and electrical resources are crippling rural operations, especially if illegal growers are tapping into a system unpermitted, Kelsey said. During times of the year when producers need to spray pastures, many were hesitant, unsure if herbicide or pesticide drift would affect their new medical marijuana neighbors, Kelsey added.
“We have just come to the point where we think it is appropriate for the director to consider a temporary pause (in issuing new grower permits,)” Kelsey said. “(That way,) she can get her arms around inspection and certification of permits. That also gives the legislature time to consider regulatory action of these grow houses.”
So far, Kelsey said understanding the entirety of how the medical marijuana industry is affecting Oklahomans is just the tip of the iceberg. The goal is to work with growers toward solutions that work for all parties, he added. He also said no one is working to undo the legalization of medical marijuana in the state.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Michael Kelsey as they talk more about the medical marijuana industry in Oklahoma.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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