Oklahoma Becomes An Illegal Marijuana Supply Leader

Oklahoma is now a leading provider of illicit marijuana in the United States, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

Officials said this was not just a drug problem but a major security issue.

“They’re very good at what they do,” said Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. “They know how to hide their operations. You know how to bury the paperwork.”

To solve a magic trick, you have to know where to look. That is the mission of Mark Woodward’s office and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

“Billions of dollars go unused on the black market,” Woodward said.

Exposing companies shipping illegal marijuana across the country. They call them ghost owners because they operate under the guise of a medical marijuana business, but the person whose name is on the business has nothing to do with the business.

Woodward’s office is investigating a quarter of Oklahoma’s licensed marijuana growers. They closed 200 farms.

“We’re only scratching the surface,” Woodward said.

Woodward said closing a farm is not enough.

“These criminal groups can replace these workers and factories in a matter of days,” Woodward said.

Not to mention the plethora of human rights abuses against the people who work on these farms. Many of them are undocumented immigrants.

“They’re promised a better life, and then they basically work for slave wages, and a lot of them don’t get paid at all,” Woodward said.

These counterfeits are usually followed by violence.

“They know how to make the plants disappear; the money is disappearing,” Woodward said. “But the concern is that they can also make people disappear.”

The solution to this sophisticated trick is to follow the paperwork to reveal the truth.

“We now know what to look for,” Woodward said.

Woodward said the state lost many legal marijuana businesses because they couldn’t compete with the black market.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority released a statement stating, “We are here to regulate the medical marijuana industry in Oklahoma. When we uncover bad actors or illegal operations, we provide the appropriate references and start the necessary administrative actions.”

“In the coming year, we anticipate an increase in the number of administrative cases due to additional on-site compliance inspectors, more thorough and improved license processing procedures to identify ghost owners, and the development of stronger partnerships with law enforcement and local law enforcement agencies across the state.”

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