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Posted on: November 21, 2019

Oklahoma Supreme Court action allows Broken Arrow to enforce its medical marijuana ordinances

medical marijuana

On Sept. 18, 2018, the City Council adopted two ordinances that designate permissible zoning areas and licensing requirements for medical marijuana dispensaries, commercial growers and marijuana processors operating in the City of Broken Arrow. 

Ordinance No. 3540 allows medical marijuana dispensaries in the CM (Commercial Mixed Use), DM (Downtown Mixed Use), CN (Commercial Neighborhood), CG (Commercial General), and CH (Commercial Heavy) zoning districts while also being permissible within Area 6 and 7 of the Downtown Residential Overlay District. Commercial marijuana growing facilities and processors would be permitted in IL (Industrial Light) or IH (Industrial Heavy) zoning districts and must be grown and processed within a building. In addition, Ordinance No. 3542 amends the code of ordinances Chapter 7 by adding Article XV Medical Marijuana, Business Regulations and Licensing, Establishing Regulations for Retail Medical Marijuana Establishments, Commercial Marijuana growing facilities, Wholesale Marijuana Facilities, and Marijuana Storage Facilities.

On Sept. 25, 2018, Cloudi Mornings, a medical marijuana business, filed suit against the City of Broken Arrow challenging the City’s authority and right to regulate the marijuana industry. At that time, a district judge granted an injunction which prevented the City from enforcing its newly adopted marijuana ordinances, which the City appealed.

On Nov. 19, 2019, the Oklahoma Supreme Court dismissed the City’s appeal, a month after a district judge concluded that Broken Arrow’s marijuana ordinances comply with state law, because they did not unduly change or restrict zoning laws to prevent the opening of a retail marijuana establishment. 

The Supreme Court’s decision puts an end to the lawsuit filed by Cloudi Mornings against the City of Broken Arrow.

“This is a win for the City of Broken Arrow. On behalf of the City Council, I want to commend City staff for putting together a sound and reasonable plan to comply with the new medical marijuana law. It is unfortunate that tax dollars had to be spent to defend our actions in court; however, we’re pleased with the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision that allows municipalities to regulate marijuana businesses,” said Mayor Craig Thurmond.

Highlights of the City’s medical marijuana regulations:

  • All operators of a Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Commercial Grower or Marijuana Processer within the City of Broken Arrow must maintain a valid commercial establishment license from the State.
  • All operators must have a City of Broken Arrow issued permit to operate a Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Commercial Grower or Marijuana Processor. 
  • No permit shall be granted or renewed for a Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Commercial Grower or Marijuana Processor in a residence. 
  • A Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Commercial Grower or Marijuana Processor permit will not be granted to any applicant where the proposed location would be located within one thousand (1,000) feet from any public or private school entrance.

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