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Stirring the pot

Medical marijuana ownership a murky proposition

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There is no telling from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s online databases exactly who owns the state’s 8,196 licensed commercial pot growers.

So any talk on the street that foreign nationals – notably the Chinese – are buying land and setting up grow operations is just that – talk.

In May, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law HB 2272 which seeks to close the door to foreign investment in medical marijuana.

Senate author is Casey Murdock of Felt.

“The issue of foreign investors purchasing land and facilities in Oklahoma in order to get into the medical marijuana business is something folks in my district are increasingly concerned about,” Murdock said at the time. “This bill is aimed at creating transparency and accountability in our medical marijuana statutes when it comes to foreign investments.”

Transparency is blurred, however, when seeking to answer one simple question  – is foreign money driving the state’s medical marijuana boom?

Here is what The Purcell Register has learned perusing both OMMA and Oklahoma Secretary of State databases:

As of July 7, Purcell has 29 licensed commercial growers. According to city officials there are just two commercial growers operating within the city limits

City manager Dale Bunn said he had no knowledge of the other 27, but suggested the licensees may have Purcell addresses, but are outside the city limits. He further suggested those licensees may be growing marijuana for their personal use.

However, he had no explanation why 23 licensees are operating as incorporated businesses or limited liability companies.

One helpful bit of information that is not included on the database is the name of the individual who owns the license. Rather, the database lists the business name, license number, an email address, telephone number, city, zip code and county.

Turning to the Oklahoma Secretary of State website isn’t much more helpful.

A search there will give you the date the business entity was approved and the name of a registered agent, not the owner, whose ties to the business are tenuous at best.

There are 353 licensed commercial growers in the immediate area – Blanchard, 173; Goldsby, 8; Lexington, 52; Lindsay, 57; Maysville, 6; Newcastle, 14 and Purcell, 29.

Statewide, Yukon attorney Matt Stacy is the registered agent for 262 commercial grow entities. Seventy-nine of those are in the towns surveyed by The Purcell Register.

Of those 353, there are 306 for which records are available through the Secretary of State. At $5 each for an advanced search, the cost of ferreting out owners’ names and business addresses is a whopping $1,530.

There are 24 licensed commercial grow businesses with Asian-sounding names. Stacy is the registered agent on 18 of them.

Those companies and the dates they were recognized by the Secretary of State’s office are:

Blanchard – Bien Hoa Green LLC, 4-30-2021; Chen’s Holdings LLC, 1-6-2021; Hao Yung LLC, 8-26-2019; Ho Van Green LLC, 9-30-2020; Hongbao Green LLC (2 licenses) 4-29-2021; Huu Green LLC, 12-14-2020; Jade Rush Holdings LLC, 10-12-2020; Jinzhe Green LLC, 7-16-2020; Le Qian Green LLC (2 licenses) 8-24-2019; Qiang Green LLC, 1-12-2021; Vanhung Start Green LLC, 8-22-2020; Wenwu Green LLC (2 licenses), 8-22-2019; Yanjun Green LLC, 8-24-2019; Zeng Green LLC, 6-18-2020. There is no record through the Secretary of State for the 18th, Xioamei Green LLC.

Lexington – Stacy is the registered agent for Jade Dragon Garden Inc., 3-20-2021, and Lun Chen Green LLC, 11-5-2019. There are two other licensed growers with Asian-sounding names: Weng Garden NW LLC, 1-5-2021, and Yu Garden LLC, 12-21-2020.

Lindsay – Caolin LLC, 2-5-2021, and Quansheng LLC, 12-1-2020. The latter is the only grow operation with an Asian – Tuan Sheng Wu – for a registered agent.

Maysville – Xiangdongf LLC, 3-11-2021.

Newcastle – Le Qian Green LLC, 8-24-2019 (Stacy is the registered agent).

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