The Oklahoma Supreme Court this week heard arguments on a lawsuit filed last month by a coalition of cannabis companies who argue that a large business fee increase, which went into effect in June, is illegal because it’s tantamount to a tax hike.
The fee increase undergirding the lawsuit came from House Bill 2179, approved by the Oklahoma Legislature last year. The marijuana industry has been vowing to fight the measure for months.
Jed Green, director of trade group Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action, charged that the fee hike would only embolden bad actors while hampering those trying to play by the rules, KOCO News 5 reported.
“Dispensaries could go from $2,500 up to $10,000, processors could go up to $30,000 annually,” Green told the TV station. “It is obvious, at this point, that there is a goal in our state to eliminate medical marijuana businesses through overregulation.”
Green previously estimated to Green Market Report that the lawsuit could save the industry $75 million-$125 million in permit fees if the Supreme Court agrees with their argument.
The state’s Medical Marijuana Authority, however, argued in court filings that the fee increases will be used to regulate and oversee the enormous industry, KOCO News 5 reported.
It’s unclear when the state’s high court may issue a ruling in the case.