“For the primary 2½ years, we had just a few companies we needed to shut down as a result of they did not make an effort to get a license, however that was a extremely, actually uncommon incidence,” he mentioned. That modified final fall, Woodward mentioned, when he observed a rise in land acquisitions and license purposes in rural areas. “After we began to see the prime rising season, the calls began coming in to legislation enforcement a couple of suspicious develop,” he mentioned. “In late March to early April, we actually began doing deep dives. And we actually did discover connections to organized crime.”
He additionally mentioned that following the U.S. Supreme Court docket McGirt choice, the OBNDD has been working with tribal legislation enforcement throughout a minimum of a few of the raids. Some tribes, together with the Muscogee Nation, not too long ago amended some ordinances associated to hashish primarily based on Oklahoma’s passage of SQ 788, however for the sake of affected person well being somewhat than financial profit.
Woodward mentioned he is seen situations by which out-of-state entities enlist an Oklahoman who meets the authorized two-year residency requirement to acknowledge on paper they’re an proprietor of a enterprise whereas having little, if any, involvement in its operations.
OBNDD workers reportedly noticed a rise in staff at such operations diverting merchandise out of Oklahoma on the market world wide.
Spokeswoman Terri Watkins mentioned OMMA makes each effort to make sure candidates meet residency and possession standards, which she acknowledged might be troublesome. Statistics point out OMMA has in extra of 10,000 licensed, although not essentially energetic, companies on document.