There’s a common problem facing Tulsa’s would-be marijuana dispensary owners.
They generally need to get a certificate of occupancy from the city permit office before they can be licensed by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, but the certificate can be derailed if one has been issued to another dispensary within 1,000 feet, even if that dispensary never opened or has gone out of business. In some cases, that’s happened after people sink money into required renovations to meet building codes and other standards.
While denials can be appealed to the Tulsa Board of Adjustment, the board usually bases its decision on the 1,000-foot spacing requirement, which it determines by looking at certificates of occupancy. Board member Burlinda Radney said that’s an issue.
“It has always given me pause to fall back on the certificate of occupancy for exactly this reason that we’re talking about now, because an existing business, to me, is a business that can perform a transaction that is a legal use, which you can’t do without the OMMA license and a certificate of occupancy at the same time,” Radney said.
The Board of Adjustment has considered a slew of appeals since Tulsa’s medical marijuana spacing requirements took