BLACKWELL, Okla. (KFOR) - The mayor of Blackwell was called to action after it was discovered he had a medical marijuana license he’s no longer allowed to have.
The Unity Bill that went into effect on Aug. 30 included a new list of people who are prohibited from having a commercial grower’s license. On that list are elected officials.
“House Bill 2612, sometimes called the Unity Bill, says that anyone who is an officer of a municipality is prohibited from having a commercial license,” said Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Assistant Director Melissa Miller.
Earlier this week, it was brought to the attention of Blackwell city officials that the mayor, T.J. Greenfield, had a license he acquired in June associated with medical marijuana business Synergy Genetics.
“One of my officers advised me that he had been informed that the mayor had a grow license,” said City Manager Janet Smith.
She alerted the city attorney, who sent a letter to Greenfield saying in part, “Holding the position of mayor may adversely affect your ability to hold this license.”
It’s the first time the situation has been brought to the attention of the OMMA since the law passed. Miller said failure to comply could result in a revocation of the license.
Mayor Greenfield told the Blackwell Journal Tribune he was grandfathered in, but on Friday, told News 4 he had applied to be removed from the license. The OMMA confirmed he applied for the removal Thursday afternoon.
“As soon as I got the information on it yesterday, I submitted the change to remove myself from the license,” Greenfield told News 4 on the phone. He said the only money he’ll make off the business is from the rent the company pays to lease his building. “I won’t own anything to do with that.”
But since being elected into office, Greenfield’s businesses have already come under investigation in the county after allegations surfaced he was benefiting from construction work his company did in the county. The city council conducted an internal investigation, the results of which have not yet been released.
The district attorney also requested a state audit. In a letter to state auditor Gary Jones, District Attorney Brian Hermanson wrote the requested audit is “regarding contracts entered with the existing Mayor without following the proper bidding laws.”
“One of the reasons that I believe that people don`t trust government is because they know that officials and sometimes employees take advantage of their role and their position and their access,” Smith said.
Greenfield insists the focus of the audit is simply a misunderstanding, and that he looks forward to speaking to state auditors.
“I had no idea about it,” Greenfield said. “That was all up to our city manager, and that will come out when the state auditors do their investigation."