Two Oklahoma attorneys have been billed with multiple counts of owning their authorized assistants lend their names to professional medical cannabis mature licenses, offering their out-of-state clientele a way to get all over residency prerequisites by way of a follow state officials referred to as “ghost owners.”
Lawyer Normal John O’Connor announced the rates Thursday, contacting it an instance of how severe the condition is using unlawful mature functions that are misusing Oklahoma’s lawful healthcare marijuana procedure.
“Over 400 marijuana increase (operations) in the condition of Oklahoma outlined the Jones-Brown legislation agency staff as the homeowners,” claimed O’Connor, referring to condition law that necessitates marijuana develop functions to be owned by an Oklahoma resident.
Eric Brown and Logan Jones have been just about every charged with many counts of conspiracy, falsifying records, and cultivation of a hazardous substance.
Brown’s legal professional denied any wrongdoing and mentioned the two ended up no lengthier companions.
Brown’s “conduct and know-how of what went on is inconsistent with the psychological state or prison intent expected to violate the regulation,” claimed Ken Adair, who is representing Brown.
Jones did not respond to a concept requesting remark.
Investigators with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics mentioned they interviewed four staff members of the Jones-Brown law organization who admitted to becoming made use of to utilize for health care marijuana mature licenses with the condition.
One legal assistant informed investigators she was paid $3,000 for every single license she set her name on, with at least $1,000 compensated again to the regulation business, and “was assembly with clientele so routinely this was the only form of operate she was carrying out,” according to affidavits filed in Garvin County courtroom.
Other ‘ghost owner’ operations staying investigated
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is investigating other feasible “ghost owner” functions.
“It practically took us 14 months on this one circumstance, there are some we have been functioning on even extended,” bureau Director Donnie Anderson said.
Anderson claimed the two legal professionals who have been charged represented overseas people today who were rising marijuana in Oklahoma and delivery it out of state.
The bureau claimed it was capable to dedicate a lot more investigators to illegal cannabis operations in new decades, which has led to other expenses, which include a statewide raid this calendar year that led to numerous arrests and the seizure of 100,000 plants and 2,000 kilos of processed marijuana.
Anderson reported the perform of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is crucial to catching “ghost entrepreneurs” due to the fact the Oklahoma Clinical Marijuana Authority, the condition agency that oversees licensing, is usually not able to establish a fraudulent license application.
“OMMA has caught some criticism about this but this is not OMMA’s fault for the reason that when you examine these every little thing (appears) in line,” Anderson explained about licenses that fraudulently use an Oklahoman’s identify.
In November, the Oklahoma Professional medical Marijuana Authority, which is presently beneath the Condition Office of Overall health, will turn out to be a standalone company, a transfer lawmakers believe that will aid it superior enforce licensing legal guidelines.
“Generating OMMA a stand-by yourself agency is required to offer with the complexity of regulation and compliance of the growing professional medical marijuana field,” stated Property The greater part Flooring Chief Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, who co-authored the legislation creating OMMA independent. “This will assistance us minimize down on the black marketplace that threatens the wellbeing of Oklahomans and properly regulate the legitimate enterprises authorized by voters.”
Considering that voters accredited health-related marijuana in 2018, additional than 400,000 affected individual and industrial licenses have been issued by the point out.
This posting at first appeared on Oklahoman: Oklahoma AG prices two legal professionals in ‘ghost owner’ cannabis scheme
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