Producers File Class Action Against OMMA, Cite Regulatory Proceedings

OKLAHOMA CITY –

Oklahoma’s cannabis industry is at odds with the state.

Two attorneys who represent multiple growers across the state have taken steps to hit OMMA and Metrc with a class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit stems from their decision to contract Metrc to implement their seed-for-sale program. Industry players believe that Metrc is not ready to do the job.

Cannabis growers, processors and dispensaries in Oklahoma are caught in a sticky situation. New product testing protocols are keeping thousands of dollars worth of products off dispensary shelves.

JKJ Processing has shelves full of marijuana and gum but is unable to sell the product.

“We are still waiting 15 days because there is such a backlog,” said John Koumbis, owner of HTE.

Koumbis said he has about $100,000 worth of product on his shelves and about $40,000 is still awaiting the state’s green light.

“It’s just frustrating I mean my inbox is exploding with patients [asking] ‘why don’t they carry your product?’ [These are] products that are not available, which they use as medicine,” Koumbis said.

He’s not the only cannabis processor having to watch his products pile up. Oklahoma’s industry has become larger than Colorado, Oregon and California combined.

“Once Metrc was implemented, wait times increased exponentially and there were issues and there continue to be issues with test results available through the Metrc system,” said attorney Felina Rivera of Rennaissance Legal Solutions PLLC. “There were dozens of people waiting for three or four hours. [They] maybe he got his hands on OMMA and they said you have to call Metrc, or they got his hands on Metrc and [were told] call OMMA.

Oklahoma City-based Felina Rivera and Tulsa-based attorney Amber Peckio Garrett led the class action lawsuit against OMMA and Metrc.

The heart of the lawsuit centers on the fact that the system was implemented improperly. They say there were not enough staff to help business owners understand, appreciate and follow the rules set by OMMA. They say their clients have lost thousands of dollars.

OMMA released a statement on the delays:

“We are seeing this issue most often resulting from licensees entering test samples into Metrc incorrectly. When licensees do not correctly enter test samples, Metrc suspends their product. When this happens, Metrc must work with the licensee and OMMA to verify that testing has been performed correctly, which can cause delays. As we continue to work with Metrc to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, we encourage licensees to review all Usage Guidelines, Metrc Bulletins, and the searchable Metrc Implementation FAQ page on our site. web to ensure they are following the correct processes.

“Every time we call, we’re submitting a work ticket. We will submit a work ticket. We are still waiting,” Koumbis said.

Whether it was user error or not, Koumbis said the delays were counted.

“Every day is another day where you lose a day of shelf life.”

The lawsuit is still in the process of gaining class action status, but Rivera says they plan to move forward with the lawsuits regardless.

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