Oklahoma City –- The full Oklahoma state Senate approved legislation Monday to address environmental concerns related to marijuana grows.
Senator Joe Newhouse, R-Tulsa, is the author of Senate Bill 808, which authorizes the executive director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to order licensees to cease and desist operations if the director finds that an environmental emergency exists.
“Oklahomans are fed up with the bad actors in the marijuana industry, many of whom are here illegally and flaunting our laws, and damaging our environment,” Newhouse said.
“Through intentional neglect and refusal to clean up contaminants, run-off, and even human waste, some grows have demonstrated a total lack of stewardship, and they need to be stopped.”
“We’re doing everything we can in the Legislature this session to reform this industry. We must take it a step further and crack down on illegal operations that are polluting our environment. S.B. 808 will allow these grows to be shut down quickly and stop them from doing further damage. I am confident that Director [Adria G.] Berry and OMMA are doing everything they can to protect our state, our citizens, and our resources. This measure will further their ability to stop this environmental abuse,” Newhouse said.
With all but three Republicans voting in favor, the measure passed the upper chamber on a vote of 38-9 (one Senator was not present), with most (but not all) opposition votes coming from Democrats.
S.B. 808 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. Representative Kyle Hilbert, R-Bristow, is the principal House author. Hilbert is Speaker Pro Tempore, the second most powerful position in the lower chamber.
Note: Pat McGuigan of The City Sentinel prepared this story for posting, adding some “nuggets” of information to a House staff press release.
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