Commissioners approve compliance certificates under county's new marijuana policy

Elisabeth Slay

Pottawatomie County Commissioners approved two additional Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Association (OMMA) compliance certificates in their quarterly meeting Monday, Jan. 27, which makes a total of about four approved OMMA certifications under their new policy.

According to District 1 Commissioner Melissa Dennis, the two OMMA businesses approved in the meeting were Cannaba-Tech and Jumper Creek Organics.

Dennis said under the new policy, which was approved in a regular meeting Jan. 13, individuals hoping to build or open medical marijuana businesses are required to follow the state laws and regulations set by the OMMA.

"You will go to the state...then you have to bring that application to (the county) snd then we have to sign of on it, but in order for us to sign off on the application we check the 911 addressing, we check the floodplain, we make sure it's out of the (Shawnee) city limits, we put it on the agenda, we allow all the commissioners to look at and then we have to notify the state fire marshall that it's in the county," Dennis said.

The commissioner explained, under the new policy, applicants are required to pay a $2,000 fee for the certificate of compliance which goes into the county's general fund.

"We have no restrictions in the county for building anything, so all we're charging is an administrative fee," Dennis said. "We can do away with the administrative fee and we can start putting restrictions in the county...We don't want to do that. It's easier to leave the county the way it is. People build things in the county for a reason."

The commissioner explained the fee is essentially reimbursement for the work the county does to ensure the applicant's certification.

"We have steps we have to go through to certify that document...If we can't recoup our money in some way, then we don't want to be forced to stop the administrative fee and be forced to start building restrictions in the county, which would cost a lot more than $2,000," Dennis said.

Dennis explained if the business is not within Pott. County limits then the applicant will receive a full refund of their $2,000.

Unlike the county, Dennis said Shawnee has building restrictions OMMA businesses must meet if they wish to have their business in the city in addition to state laws and regulations.

Going forward, Dennis said commissioners will review compliance certifications in their regular meetings and approve them if they meet all the requirements of the state, the state fire marshall and the county.