OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Last month, KFOR reported about a class action lawsuit filed against the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority hoping to stop the state from implementing a seed-to-sale tracking program from a company called Metrc.
A judge granted a temporary restraining order. Now Metrc is trying to intervene.
The company filed a motion to intervene in the case and to vacate the temporary restraining order.
A hearing is set for June 1.
“We intervened to defend ourselves,” David Urbanowicz, director of external affairs at Metrc, said.
The attorney representing 10,000 cannabis businesses across the state says the move wasn’t necessary.
“We don’t believe Metrc has any interest in this case, our position and our case is about the fact that the state agency, the Oklahoma Department of Health and OMMA has failed to do its job in adopting regulations,” Ronald Durbin with Viridian Legal Services said.
“Metrc is actually named in the lawsuit but interestingly we’re not actually party to the lawsuit, and this obviously affects our company and our employees and most importantly our work with Oklahoma,” Urbanowicz said.
Durbin argues Metrc would create a monopoly and many dispensaries already do their own seed-to-sale tracking, which means a plant is tracked from the time it’s grown to the time it gets to the consumer.
Metrc says they are not a monopoly and their system would make it easier for regulators.
“The whole idea behind Metrc is actually to make things more efficient,” Urbanowicz said.
Durbin says using Metrc won’t fix illegal activities in the industry, and that agencies have to do more inspections, which he says the passage of SB 1033 will help with.
“It opens the door for allowing the OMMA to enter into memorandums of understanding with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics for dangerous drugs to help facilitate enforcement,” he said.
For now, the implementation of Metrc is on hold.
“Metrc complains about the temporary restraining order, and they try to vilify the plaintiffs, the state agreed to the temporary restraining order, the state did not have to agree to it,” Durbin said.
“We’re very confident that we’ll be granted our motion and we’ll be allowed to intervene and then comes the next step after that, which will be our request to vacate,” Urbanowicz said.
The OMMA says they don’t comment on pending lawsuits.
June 1 is when there will be a hearing on if Metrc can intervene.
On June 29, there will be a hearing to decide what will happen to the temporary restraining order.