Oklahoma Implements 'Secret Shopper' Program to Regulate Medical Cannabis Industry

Oklahoma Implements ‘Secret Shopper’ Program to Regulate Medical Cannabis Industry

Under a recently enacted state law, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) has gained the authority to utilize “secret shoppers” as part of its regulatory efforts in the state’s medical cannabis industry, as reported by FOX25. The law, which took effect this week, mandates regulators to deploy at least 50 secret shoppers annually to licensed retailers. Their mission is to anonymously purchase medical cannabis products, subsequently subjecting these products to testing by a laboratory.

Co-sponsored by Representative Josh West, the bill (HB3971) prioritizes the safety of Oklahomans by implementing measures to curb potential misconduct within the medical cannabis sector. In a statement to FOX25, Rep. West emphasized the significance of consumer safety and the need to maintain checks and balances. Drawing a parallel with the alcohol industry, he highlighted the similarity to the practices of the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) in ensuring compliance with regulations.

Although passed and signed into law in 2022, the bill officially came into effect at the commencement of 2023. This innovative approach reflects Oklahoma’s ongoing efforts to crack down on illegal cannabis operations within the state.

In November, cannabis regulators announced intentions to revoke 165 medical cannabis cultivation licenses due to non-compliance with signage requirements. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, in August, revealed the closure of over 800 unlawful cannabis farms in the previous two years. State officials reported a significant reduction in licensed medical cannabis cultivators, decreasing from approximately 9,400 in 2021 to about 3,200 by the end of 2023, indicating the impact of regulatory efforts on industry participants.

As Oklahoma pioneers this ‘secret shopper’ strategy for enhanced oversight, stakeholders are keenly observing the outcomes and implications for the evolving landscape of the state’s medical cannabis industry.

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