15 min read
OMMA: A Complete Guide
In Oklahoma, the cannabis industry is on the rise, and the regulations and laws related to it are also becoming more specific and hard to follow. If you want to run a medical marijuana dispensary business in Oklahoma, you need to know them and meet them all. We have created an article to help you determine what you need to be compliant with to operate a cannabis dispensary in Oklahoma.
So, let’s dive into the details: what is OMMA, and what do you need to start a business in Oklahoma?
What Is OMMA?
OMMA stands for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. The Oklahoma State Department of Health established it to manage and control the medical marijuana program in Oklahoma. OMMA also issues licenses for cannabis-related businesses and ensures people obtain safe practices.
If you apply for a cannabis license with OMMA and do not meet all criteria, you will not be able to start your business.
OMMA is also responsible for:
- Providing a patient who cannot obtain a doctor’s recommendation with a temporary medical patient license for two years.
- Ensuring that a new cannabis retail store meets the state rules of public marijuana consumption.
- Overseeing cannabis growing in the state. The organization ensures that marijuana is appropriately accounted for.
- Introducing an inventory tracking system.
How Do I Get a Dispensary License in Oklahoma?
To get a license in Oklahoma, you should understand which one you need. There are four different types of them:
- Medical Marijuana Grower License. The cannabis grower license allows the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes in Oklahoma. The holder of a license is allowed to cultivate marijuana in a certain amount in the designated area. Licensed growers are permitted to sell only to the processors or dispensaries holding a permit.
- Medical Marijuana Processor License. If you want to process cannabis, you will need this license. You will be able to get cannabis from a licensed cultivator and process it into concentrated forms.
- Medical Cannabis Delivery License. Growers and processors need someone to transport cannabis between them and various dispensaries to operate effectively. A cannabis delivery person is required to have both a cannabis transportation business license and an individual transporter agent card.
- Medical Marijuana Dispensary License. This license allows a holder to sell cannabis and cannabis products legally. The holder can dispense marijuana to the patient, caregiver, or research license holders. Dispensaries should not be engaged in illegal sales as they risk getting fines or having their licenses revoked.
Remember that the cost of an application fee is $2,500 for everyone who wants to be involved in cultivation, processing, dispensing, or transporting cannabis products. You will also pay an additional fee for a transaction. But you must keep in mind that you will not be refunded if an application is not approved.
Furthermore, you should meet some other requirements to get a license. For instance, you should be at least 21 years of age or older. Also, you need to be an Oklahoma resident, and your entities have to be registered in Oklahoma. You can find all information about the OMMA licensing process on the OMMA website.
There is a piece of good news for those who are going to open more than one dispensary or another cannabis-related business facility. There is no limit in the number of licenses one can apply for and obtain. However, note that each dispensary location needs a separate license.
What Are the Basic Requirements to Be Eligible to Apply?
The basic requirements include the following:
- An applicant should be at least 25 years of age or older.
- Applicants and all members of their business should be Oklahoma residents.
- An Oklahoma resident should hold at least 75% of the ownership.
- An applicant should be ready for a background check.
- An applicant should collect all necessary documents.
As for dispensary business, make sure that its location is at least 1000 feet from a private or a public school. The distance is measured from the dispensary property line to any school entrance.
Also, a standard business license is required. Among all documents, you need to submit a Certificate of Compliance. It ensures that, for instance, your dispensary is compliant with the municipality fire codes. Remember that you should have a certificate for each dispensary location and warehouses and storefronts.
Additionally, owners of a dispensary business should register with the Oklahoma Secretary of State and tax authorities. OMMA licensees should also register with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.
Moreover, if you want to transport medical marijuana, you should apply for a medical marijuana transporter license. Make sure that drivers have their individual transporter agent licenses.
We also recommend finding a doctor to get you a doctor’s endorsement by signing referral documents. Not all physicians are willing to do that as they are hesitant.
Before submitting, review the Commercial License Checklist to ensure that you have collected all the documents and done everything right. Submit all information via the OMMA website: omma.ok.gov.
After that, OMMA will review your application, and if it meets all the requirements and regulations, you will receive an approval letter with the ID card.
Remember that licenses need to be renewed each year according to the OMMA rules.
What Information and Documentation Do I Need to Provide in My Application?
Among all documents, you will need to have a detailed business plan, a financial plan, a security system plan, and others. Be ready for an underground check. You will also need to undergo cannabis dispensing training.
Check if your documents include the name of the establishment, its physical address, GPS coordinates, phone number, email address, and hours of operation.
If you submit an application on your behalf, then make sure that the application includes your first, middle, and last name, residence address, email address, birth date, and phone number.
If you act on behalf of a cannabis business entity, add to your application the following: proof that you can act on behalf of the entity, organization full name, trade name, business organization type, mailing address, phone number, email address, each member’s name, physical address, and birth date.
OMMA has provided applicants with a checklist document to find all the necessary information for the application process.
Why Can OMMA Deny My Application?
For a variety of reasons, your marijuana business application can be rejected. It is one of the common problems the applicants face. Moreover, OMMA constantly specifies the requirements, making the application process even more complicated.
One of the application rejection reasons is the potential business owners skipping the fact that they need to be Oklahoma residents. To meet this requirement, applicants need to sign an affidavit of legal presence and send a copy of their driver’s license issued by Oklahoma.
Furthermore, many medical marijuana business applicants face denials because they have not understood the operating or business plan requirements correctly. Hiring a good lawyer experienced in the cannabis sphere can help figure out what OMMA meant by this or that requirement and meet all of them.
Additionally, the rejection can happen even at the license renewal stage. That is why it is better to have a medical marijuana attorney who understands the rules and requirements issued by OMMA.
What Are the Dispensary Laws in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma cannabis laws are the rules that every marijuana dispensary business owner must follow while selling medical marijuana to patients. The first thing you need to discover when the thought of starting a cannabis business comes to your mind is cannabis laws.
There are some of them:
- An owner must be at least 25 years old or older and be an Oklahoma resident.
- Oklahoma dispensaries can sell only to patients (or caregivers) with a valid medical cannabis patient license. Before selling, they need to verify a customer’s ID card.
- Patients also need to have a physician’s recommendation to buy cannabis products.
- Those under 18 years of age cannot enter a dispensary premises. Their parents or legal guardians can pick up medical marijuana from the dispensary for them.
- The products allowed for sale are mature plants, seedlings, flowers, concentrates, and edibles.
- Dispensaries must be located at least 1000 feet from a private or a public school.
- A single transaction is limited to 3 ounces of cannabis, 1 ounce of marijuana concentrate, 72 ounces of edibles, six mature plants, or six seedlings.
- The sale of more cannabis than prescribed by law can come at the cost of fines and penalties.
- The labels must have the following information: the grower’s or processor’s name and license number, the product name, the batch number, content weight, ingredients list, THC potency, terpenoid potency, and the statement “This product has been tested for contaminants.”
- There are some peculiarities related to edible labels. They must include business name and address, product name, net quantity, list of ingredients, food allergen information, nutritions, cannabis ingredients list, the marijuana batch, the marijuana strain, THC dosage, and the lot code.
- The medical marijuana and medical marijuana products transported between cultivators and/or processors must have labels with the following information: name and license number of the cultivator or processor, product’s batch number, date of harvest and production, and a statement that the medical cannabis has been tested and the results of tests.
- The cannabis product packaging cannot be attractive to minors.
- A dispensary must have all the required software to operate.
- All marijuana product packages need to have RFID tags.
- These tags must have a harvest batch of medical cannabis.
- All medical marijuana waste packages also need RFID tags.
- The content of the waste packages must be reported through the State inventory tracking system.
- Be compliant with Metrc.
- The person in charge of working with an inventory tracking system should complete all required inventory tracking system training.
The cannabis industry businesses are the objects of close regulators’ and law enforcements’ attention. That is why you will need to be attentive to every little detail. Otherwise, you can receive penalties, fines, or even jail sentences.
What Do You Need to Know About Metrc in Oklahoma?
METRC stands for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting and Compliance. It is a cloud-based platform designed to help business owners be compliant with the Oklahoma cannabis laws. It tracks marijuana production from seed to sale in real-time. Metrc collects data related to marijuana-using UID (Unique Identification Number).
Metrc collects data that shows state agencies the picture of the health state and behavior of the market. This information helps enhance cannabis policy regulations.
Cannabis business owners use Metrc to report every activity related to the procession of a cannabis plant: from its cultivation to selling. In order to simplify the tracking process, tags are used. These tags are attached to the plants by licensees. They can be readable text, barcodes, or RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags. Tags include the following information: tag order date, an ID of a plant, name of an application identifier, and license number.
To start working with Metrc, you need:
- Complete the Metrc training;
- Request online access;
- Complete the New Business System Metrc training with a Metrc Account Manager;
- Register all your employees with Metrc and configure the permission access;
- Order Metrc tags for plants, packages, and other things;
- Attach tags to your cannabis products;
- Use the Beginning Inventory Guide in Metrc to learn additional important information.
How to Keep Your Dispensary Compliant in Oklahoma?
To keep your dispensary compliant, you need to meet all the Oklahoma state regulations and requirements.
First of all, you need to operate under a state-issued license. If you do not have one, then your business is considered illegal, and nine times out of ten, you will be fined or sentenced to a term in jail. Do not forget to renew your license on time. In Oklahoma, the process occurs once a year.
Secondly, you need to be compliant with Metrc. It means that you should complete all the required training programs and report via Metrc everything that concerns your medical marijuana products movement.
Thirdly, you need to adopt all necessary software. It is required by law. Nonetheless, it is better to have the software to simplify the workflow at your dispensary and speed it up. It will automate a number of processes so that your employees will concentrate on their primary tasks, like consulting patients and providing them with better advice.
Fourthly, you need to check if marijuana product labels have all the necessary information. Labels are also strictly regulated by law, and they should include specific information. However, regulators change this information or add new data on labels. That is why it is essential to keep abreast of all changes and stay compliant.
Finally, consider hiring a compliance manager to help you as it is rather difficult to remember all requirements, especially if you are not a law expert. That is why you should think about hiring a person who specializes in questions related to cannabis laws and will help you stay compliant all the time.
Being non-compliant can be pretty costly. Fines and penalties are rather high, not to mention the jail sentence that will take several years of your life. If you want to run a business for a long time and not be closed a week after starting, you need to play by the rules in the cannabis industry.
What Are Reporting Requirements Necessary for Dispensaries?
A dispensary owner should use Metrc to report about inventory. OMMA requires the following information:
- How many pounds of cannabis were purchased during the last month;
- How many pounds of cannabis were sold or transported;
- How many pounds of cannabis waste were destroyed;
- Why some products were lost, if any;
- How many cannabis sales there were, in dollars;
- How many dollars were spent on taxes from cannabis sales.
OMMA can also require any additional information it might determine necessary.
Remember that you should report by the 15th day of each month. Also, you need to store all records for at least seven years after the recording date. If you fail to submit a report within 30 days of written OMMA notice, you will be fined $500.
If you have not obtained an integrated POS solution, you will need to report manually. Consequently, you will conduct inventory audits manually, count all sales and income by hand, and make a report yourself. The risk that you can make a mistake is high. Additionally, it will take a lot of time and money.
What Cannabis Software Do I Need to Run a Dispensary?
To operate a dispensary efficiently in Oklahoma, you will need the following software:
- A compliant POS system. A good POS system can match each state’s laws and regulations which can help you stay compliant. Check our POS solution. It is Metrc integrated. It will help you create reports and send them directly from the system. Our POS system is also equipped with SMS and email sending features. You can alert customers about new products, specials, or discounts. Additionally, it has patients’ profiles that show their interaction history and usual purchases. You can use such information for marketing purposes. What else? Our POS system allows you to track a budtender’s performance. You can find out who is a budtender of the month and who needs more training.
- A website. There is a range of reasons you need a website. Actually, a majority of people use the Internet to find what they need. Few people will know about your company if you are not present online. However, you can increase the number of leads by having even a one-page website. A constantly updated blog can be of great help as well. It will contribute to your authority and help increase your company’s credibility with the help of unique content. Showing your customers what you have at your disposal will save them time and money.
- Inventory management software. Of course, you can do everything on your own. On the other hand, you can use software that can decrease the time and money you spend on counting inventory manually. It will reduce the risk of human error, which can be quite costly. Additionally, your reports to Metrc will be accurate, and your nerves will be saved. Check out IndicaOnline RFID solution that can help you complete inventory audits in a matter of seconds.
- Security systems. You need them to reduce the risks of thefts, data leakage, and other contingencies. Security systems will also allow you to establish access control for employees and customers. In general, you need security systems to protect your property and staff from intrusions, burglary, fire incidents, and other disasters.
- Metrc. As we said above, you need to be compliant to operate legally. Integrating with Metrc is an important thing you need to do when starting your cannabis dispensary business. You need to report to Metrc about your inventory. To do that, you are supposed to install Metrc software and complete its training.
Starting a business always brings both problems and benefits. The first thing you need to check and follow is the law, as compliance is what the regulators will check when you come to them to submit an application.
Be aware of why OMMA can deny your application and the pitfalls that can occur on your way to being a member of the cannabis industry.
Obtain the necessary software and hardware to help you be compliant and boost your staff performance. It will also give you an additional advantage in increasing the number of sales and ways to achieve it.