OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A measure that targets ‘straw owners’ of medical marijuana businesses has passed the Oklahoma Senate.

Senate Bill 475, authored by Sen. Lonnie Paxton, (R-Tuttle), aims to stop illegal ‘straw owners’ by setting up business restrictions.

“We worked with both the attorney general’s office and the Bureau of Narcotics, not to go after the medical marijuana industry, but to go after the bad actors who’ve been manipulating the process,” Paxton said.  “This bill tackles specific issues, like straw owners, so that OBNDD and prosecutors can address the problems we’re having much quicker.”  

The measure defines a ‘straw person or party’ as a third party who is put up in name only to take part in a medical marijuana business transaction.

The bill also allows the director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control to issue written orders before suspending or revoking any registration.

Also, the director can immediately suspend a registration without notice when there is a cause to believe there is imminent danger to public health or safety.

The agency is also allowed to issue a $5,000 per day fine for any violation of federal or Oklahoma law relating to controlled substances or rules implemented by the burea.

If a registration is revoked, the registrant can be banned from reapplying for up to five years.

SB 475 will now be considered by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.