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A update on the Medical Marijuana situation in Luther

When is a school a school? That is the question the Town of Luther is asking a judge to answer when it comes to whether the Luther Public Schools’ agriculture and bus barn is a school. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has issued a license to Rock N Vapes (Deep Fork Dispensary) even though the location at 428 N Dogwood is within 1000 feet of the barn which is part of school district property. State law prohibits a marijuana operation 1000 feet from a “school.”

But when is a school a school? If it’s a public school, is a school a school when it’s on school (tax payer funded) property? Do students have to meet there all day? Or just sometimes. The Town of Luther and the school district say their barn is a “school.” Obviously, the folks who want to have a dispensary in a building they already occupy think otherwise.

OMMA Rules

Interestingly, the language that voters supported to bring medical marijuana to the state stipulates the 1,000 foot rule separating a school from a dispensary. In Luther, with a tight town perimeter and multiple school buildings, there is hardly a place in a commercial district that is not 1000 feet from a school.

“Regarding the dispensary, we have directed the Town’s Attorney to file a declaratory judgment action in District Court regarding the school facility.  We will pass a Resolution at a future meeting outlining the details,” said Mayor Jenni White, through the new Town Attorney, Beth Anne Childs.

Birlene Langley and Jeremy Ring are owners of the dispensary and were at the meeting where the Town Board voted to seek the Declaratory Judgement from a judge.

“We’re happy about it,” said Langley, a former Town Trustee. She also said they expect to be pleased with the outcome.

Luther Ag Barn and Rock N Vapes are within 1000 feet of each other.

The lawsuit

Meanwhile the Town has not officially responded, according to OSCN, to the lawsuit filed by JAB Corp., in response to the Town’s zoning denial of its state approved growers license. JAB is located on an annexed portion of Town limits north of Luther.

Through the Town’s attorney, Mayor White said none of the Trustees can discuss what happens in Executive Session when the board met on April 15 to discuss the lawsuit. “However, in Open Meeting, the Board voted to have the Town’s attorneys negotiate for resolution of the pending litigation.  Attorney Margaret McMorrow-Love has been retained by the Town to handle the litigation.  Ms. Childs, the Town’s Attorney, will assist her as necessary.  As you know, state law continues to change and the Town is committed to operating within the bounds of state statutes.”

Among other things, JAB alleges the Town of Luther Board of Trustees erred in its denial of JAB Corp’s zoning variance because it did not have a planning commission or Board of Adjustment in place at the time, in violation of state law. The Town has since reinstated its planning commission and Board of Adjustment. JAB also alleges the Town’s Medical Marijuana ordinance is unenforceable because it is arbitrary and unreasonable. JAB also state’s that this delay is costing them business relationships in the state’s new medical marijuana industry.

JAB filed the lawsuit against the Town of Luther in February. Today, OMMA reported it had granted almost 5,000 business applications to serve 106,309 patients who have been granted a medical marijuana card.

OMMA

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2 Comments

  1. No, the bus barn isn’t a school, it’s a home where the buses sleep….. (Just as much hog wash) By the thought that an off site storage barn is a school, we could then say if a church or school has a storage building,or rented storage at a facility paid for with congregation funds or tax payer funds, then sex offenders could not live near them by the same reasoning, nor could there be dispensaries near them either. But we all know the intent of the law and when it is blatantly skewed. Sometimes correcting poor vision can only be achieved when you make it cost more than the blind are willing to pay. Too bad they are testing the water with the reverse of that strategy, hoping the hand is folded before it goes to court. I hope the dispensary has the funding to stay the course because they are being hoodwinked. The town should align itself with the intent of the State’s voters when they passed SQ788 and move beyond the archaic prohibition mentality they cling to. imho

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