Oklahoma places two-year moratorium on cannabis licensing: Weekly regulatory news
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The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy. California moves to make its cannabis industry more consumer-friendly, a former chiropractor in Florida faces seven counts of unlicensed practice, and more in our weekly look at the world of regulation.

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Oklahoma implements two-year moratorium on cannabis licensing

Since Oklahoma first rolled out its medical cannabis market in 2018, the state has been flooded with grow operations and cannabis vendors. Critics like Rep. Rusty Cornwell argue that regulators have found themselves unprepared to enforce compliance in such an explosive and fast-growing industry. In response, Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed new legislation that will place a two-year moratorium on medical cannabis licensing. While currently licensed business will not be affected, regulators will not be able to issue any new licenses in the field from August 2022 until August 2024. Read more at Ganjapreneur.

California launches cannabis vendor data visualization tool

This month, California’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) implemented an online tool allowing consumers to identify licensed cannabis product retailers. The technology serves business owners as well, keeping them informed about which jurisdictions license cannabis vendors. The tool is set to be updated and improved as time goes on, with stakeholder input guiding developments in functionality and presentation. The data visualization tool can currently be accessed through the DCC website. Read more at Financial Regulation News.

Illinois judge lifts 10-month stay on cannabis company licensure

After a delay lasting nearly 10 months, cannabis vendors will now be able to proceed with their licensing processes in the state of Illinois. The stay, which was lifted by Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Mullen, was intended to freeze the licensing process while ongoing litigation in the court system was settled. This litigation, launched by cannabis companies arguing they were unfairly left out of the state’s retail license lotteries, ended with officials creating a new, corrective lottery that would give these businesses another chance. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has also announced plans to simplify this licensing process in the future. Read more at Cannabis Business Times.

Chiropractor faces allegations of unlicensed practice and sexual misconduct

After his April arrest, a formerly licensed chiropractor in Jupiter, FL, is now facing seven counts of unlicensed practice in the health care profession. Hamed Kian, 41, had his license suspended in October 2021 after multiple reports from women of unprofessional conduct in his practice. In January, Jupiter Police opened an investigation after receiving its own report from a woman who claimed Kian had given her an unwanted kiss after an appointment. An investigator from the Department of Health also noted that Kian was practicing with a suspended license at this time. His arraignment is set to take place on June 16. Read more at CBS12 News.

North Memphis day care surrenders license after fatal hot-car incident

A North Memphis day care center known as Education is the Key has recently closed after a fatal incident in which a child was left in a hot car. Regulators’ investigations have so far found that while the person handling the car was approved to transport children, the vehicle itself was not approved. Education is the Key, first licensed in February 2017, went over five years without receiving a violation before this incident. As of May 23, 2022, Education is the Key has ceased operations and surrendered its license. Read more at Commercial Appeal.

Other news:

  • A new illicit practice has emerged in the Alberta cannabis industry. Pot shops have been entering coercive agreements with marijuana producers, forcing them to buy sales data in exchange for having their products stocked. In response, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) has issued letters warning retailers and suppliers that this practice violates province regulations.  
  • Bruce Lindberg of the Family Chiropractic Clinic in Ottumwa, IA, after receiving multiple new accusations of sex offenses, has agreed to stop seeing patients. Lindberg’s first allegations date back to 1989, when he was charged with five counts of lascivious acts with a child. Despite this, and the disciplinary proceedings that followed, the Iowa Board of Chiropractic Examiners eventually reinstated Lindberg’s license. After his most recent accusation and investigation in April, however, the chiropractor has agreed to cease operations.
  • A recent cyberattack on Costa Rica’s hospitals and clinics has forced the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) to shut down its digital record-keeping system for several days. This comes on the heels of other cyberattacks affecting the country, targeting, for example, foreign trade and tax collection operations. The situation has become so dire that President Rodrigo Chaves declared it a national emergency on the day of his inauguration in May.

Also noteworthy:

  • How to leverage a growing universe of federal aid to build AI-ready government (GovTech)
  • Nursing shortage can be fixed by speeding up the licensing process (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • South Dakota will vote on legalizing pot — with a twist (The Hill)
  • What role for regulators in the developing a creditable AI audit industry? (G+T – Gilbert + Tobin)
  • Advancing multistate licensure is vital in the telehealth era (Pharmacy Times)

Stay informed.

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Jordan Milian
Written byJordan Milian
Jordan Milian is a writer covering government regulation and occupational licensing for Ascend, with a professional background in journalism and marketing.

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