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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Gov. Kevin Stitt appointed a new executive director to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, saying she will tackle a range of challenges, including the increase in illegal pot operations.

Adria Berry, who previously worked within Stitt’s administration as counselor to the Secretary of State, was named the new OMMA Executive Director.

“I am committed to tackling the major challenges that the explosion of marijuana in Oklahoma is causing across our state,” Stitt said. “Foreign nationals are gobbling up land in rural communities and drug traffickers are exploiting our laws and threatening our public safety. Adria Berry is the right leader to help us solve these problems and protect Oklahomans.”

Berry’s responsibilities include working with legislators, law enforcement and stakeholders to ensure Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program is not being illegally exploited.

She will oversee increased collaboration between OMMA and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.  The Oklahoma Legislature authorized OMMA to collaborate with other state agencies.

Berry most recently worked as senior vice president of government affairs and public policy for The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma.

“I am honored and looking forward to working for citizens across the state who have been patient as the OMMA worked to get its bearings after the passage of State Question 788 legalized medical marijuana in Oklahoma,” Berry said. “The staff at OMMA has worked tirelessly to address issues as they arise, and I am eager to join the team and work along-side them to continue solving problems and implementing sound policy for all Oklahomans.”

Berry will start as OMMA Executive Director on Aug. 30, succeeding current director Dr. Kelly Williams, who will continue working with the agency, according to an OMMA news release.

“I am appreciative of the credentials and experience that Ms. Berry brings to the agency,” Williams said.

Berry has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington and a law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law.