Compliance News

Do I Need a Transport Agent License?

Yes! And below we will explain why.

After working weeks with your compliance officer on your Certificate of Compliance you finally receive your commercial cannabis license from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). Along with that your Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) permit comes in a day later. Your partners are in the full swing of things and the operating agreement your attorneys have been working on is now being signed. At last you are up and running.

Flash forward, a few months later you have some great cannabis or cannabis products that are ready to be sold, and thankfully you already have it placed to various cannabis businesses throughout Oklahoma. What’s next? Easy, you load it up, following the OMMA packaging guidelines and put it in your car (equipped with GPS) to transport.

Driving down the highway you notice it’s getting late and you want to be back at home base before 5 pm. The speed limit is 70 mph but you decide to do 75 mph. Suddenly you see police lights in your rear view mirror and subconsciously get nervous even though what you are doing is legal in the State of Oklahoma. 

The officer smells cannabis coming from the car and you explain your situation. Simple. Except that the officer asks for your transport agent license, which you don’t have because you never filed for one. Instead you show him your commercial license but this doesn’t do you any good. Before you know it you’re in the back of the officer’s cab and the months of work you’ve put in is being seized.

 

The above situation outlines what happened to a client of ours but it’s not an isolated event. Before August 30th, 2019 many commercial growers and processors thought that they were safe with just their commercial license. They were issued a transport license (different from a transport agent license) along with their OMMA license after all. Unfortunately  the transport license won’t work if pulled over by police when transporting cannabis or cannabis products. Instead, you have to file with the OMMA for a transport agent license. 

What is a transport agent license and how does it differ from the earlier version that accompanied the OMMA commercial licenses? The most distinct difference is the fact that each transport agent license has a photo of the person it was issued to. This helps authorities confirm that you have indeed been cleared to transport cannabis. It also helps protect you and your business from people who pose as employees for your company when they are pulled over. In addition, each agent license needs to be filed for every person that is expected to be transporting cannabis for your business. Again, every person that is expected to be transporting cannabis, even passengers, will need a transport agent license. 

It’s even helpful for dispensaries. While dispensaries might typically expect cannabis to be delivered to them, legislation in the future points towards Oklahoma making it legal to deliver cannabis to patients. Simply put, if you have a dispensary business and want to take advantage of the deliveries in the future you’ll want to have a valid transport agent license. Moreover, if you have multiple locations for your dispensaries and are trying to transport product from one to the other you will need a transport agent license. 

The OMMA fee for each transport agent license $100 and the requirements are similar to a commercial license, including the two-year residency requirement, which means it can be challenging for some to obtain their agent license even after they’ve received their commercial cannabis license. 

If you’ve been operating a commercial Oklahoma cannabis business make sure you have this license if you’re planning on transporting cannabis or cannabis products. In addition, if you’re unsure of how to get this license, or simply want peace of mind that your business is compliant with OMMA guidelines and Oklahoma state laws feel free to reach out to us here at Cannabis Business Professionals of Okahoma (CBPOK). 

 

10 Jun, 2020
Brian Williams
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