At 61, Matthew Koontz came to Oklahoma from Michigan hoping to provide a boost for his retirement savings by making his play in Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry as a grower, and eventually, a dispensary owner selling his own products. But what looked to be a dream come true has slowly dissolved into a regulatory nightmare and a licensure limbo.
“The idea was to spend the money we had saved and invest in this thing and then try to save enough over the next 10 years to have a good retirement at the ripe old age of 70,” Koontz said. “But right now, it doesn’t look good.”
On May 21, Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed HB 3228, which could have provided Koontz and other marijuana business owners some relief. During 2020’s abbreviated legislative session, the bill had become a combination of several adjustments to policies within the state’s medical marijuana industry. It featured a provision to protect dispensaries that had been licensed prior to when a 2019 bill established a 1,000-foot boundary around preschools, and it would have authorized home delivery of medical marijuana products.
But the bill’s provision intended to address what has turned Koontz’s life into a roller coaster ride of bureaucracy and frustration focused on residency requirements for dispensary and grow operators licensed by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. [Read more at NONDOC]