Pott. County commissioners OK funding for cannabis investigation program

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
A commercial indoor hydroponic cannabis farm.

Pottawatomie County Commissioners on Monday approved District Attorney Allan Grubb's request for $80,000 for his cannabis investigation program.

During the meeting, Grubb explained to commissioners that the funds will be used to support an investigator for Pottawatomie County to investigate potential illegal marijuana grow houses and other businesses that don't have the proper permits, certifications or are not fulfilling required safety codes.

Grubb said this is a pilot program he already started in Lincoln County, with commissioners there giving $80,000 last week to fund an investigator and vehicle in Lincoln County.

Since starting the program Thursday, June 10, Grubb said his team has already investigated and found two illegal cannabis operations, which have and are in the process of being seized. 

When asked by District 1 Commissioners Melissa Dennis of his processes for investigating these establishments, Grubb said essentially his team follows up on tips of potential illegal operations, knocks on their doors and asks to inspect the facility and see proof of their necessary certifications and permits. 

If the operators of the businesses refuse to show investigators their certifications or allow them access to their facility, Grubb said his team will leave, put surveillance on the business and then obtain warrants if needed. 

The district attorney said the Lincoln and Pottawatomie County investigators in this program would work together as partners; both counties are part of District 23.

In addition, Dennis said the $80,000 approved for this effort is coming out of the county's general fund, but derives from money that is composed of fees cannabis businesses have paid to the county for their Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority licenses. Those funds are specifically earmarked for a program such as this.

Check back for updates as Grubb plans to release additional information about the program later this week.