Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 15, 2020

OK Supreme Court Holds City Had Authority to Zone or Otherwise Regulate Medical Marijuana Businesses Within City Limits

This post was authored by Matthew Loeser, Esq.

On June 26, 2018, Oklahoma passed State Question 788, codified at 63 O.S. Supp. 2018 § 420A et seq, which legalized medical marijuana. Following this, the City of Broken Arrow enacted local zoning ordinances No. 3540 and 3542 in an attempt to incorporate the introduction of medical marijuana businesses into their community. On September 25, 2018, the plaintiffs Cloudi Mornings and Austin Miller filed a Petition for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief in the Tulsa County District Court asking the court to make a legal determination that the City of Broken Arrow had no authority to zone or otherwise regulate medical marijuana businesses within city limits. After Cloudi Mornings’ initial challenge to the city’s ordinances, the Oklahoma Legislature enacted 63 O.S. Supp. 2019 § 425(f) in an apparent attempt to clarify the voter approved enactment and to provide further direction for municipalities to incorporate marijuana businesses within their city limits. The District Court held these ordinances did not unduly change or restrict zoning so as to prevent opening of retail marijuana establishments.

On appeal, the court found Cloudi Mornings was not denied any city permits, required to pay a particular city fee, or prohibited from locating in a chosen location within City limits all together. Furthermore, there was no indication that the City’s ordinances directly conflicted with the Health Department regulations and rules. Since the declaratory relief Cloudi Mornings sought was no longer an issue, Cloudi Mornings had not yet suffered any loss, and the City was acting within its authority under both the original enactment and its amendments, The court dismissed the appeal.

Cloudi Mornings, LLC. v. City of Broken Arrow, 454 P.3d 753 (2019)

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