A bevy of Oklahoma licensed marijuana growers seeks administrative reviews after their licenses were surrendered by a woman who claims she was a part of a fraudulent organization crafted by an Oklahoma law firm, including one in Pittsburg County.
Court documents show Yzhu, LLC, is asking a Pittsburg County judge to set aside the decision made by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to deactivate the company’s marijuana grower license pending judicial review, to set aside the deactivation, or to set aside the deactivation and remand the decision back to OMMA with instructions to follow “proper administrative procedures.”
Yzhu, LLC, is one of an estimated 300 growers across the state of Oklahoma that had their licenses deactivated after a woman, identified as Kathleen Windler, allegedly surrendered their licenses after she was charged with marijuana-related felonies stemming from an improper licensed grow in Garvin County District Court.
Windler herself filed a lawsuit in Cleveland County District Court against a law firm she was employed with, Jones Brown, alleging negligence.
Windler alleges the firm offered her and other employees of the law firm as a service to clients from out of state to stand in as a lawful Oklahoma resident to meet the residency requirements needed to obtain a medical marijuana grow license.
Her lawsuit also alleges she was never an owner in any medical marijuana business entity but was part of a fraudulent “organizational apparatus” crafted by the Jones Brown law firm.
Yzhu, LLC stated the owners moved to McAlester in 2020 to start a business as a licensed medical marijuana grower and the owners expected it to take two years to become eligible for a license.
Lawyers with Jones Brown told the owners of Yzhu, LLC that they did not have to wait the two years to obtain its grower license and that Windler “could act as a consultant and stand in as the Oklahoma resident to meet the residency requirement.”
Owners of the business were told that Windler would not be able to make any decisions or take any action on behalf of Yzhu, LLC.
After paying Jones Brown lawyers $11,500 and receiving proper licenses from OMMA and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Yzhu, LLC leased a large property in Pittsburg County and invested approximately $100,000 in capital improvements.
Yzhu, LLC states in court documents that the company received no notice of the deactivation from OMMA and only learned after phone calls to OMMA that Windler “surrendered license on or about Aug. 17, 2021.”
When asked if the company could file a change of ownership form, OMMA denied the request and told Yzhu, LLC its only option was to reapply for a license, which takes more than the 30-days the company has from deactivation to “liquidate all medical marijuana plants.”
Yzhu, LLC is asking a Pittsburg County judge to choose between three remedies: Set aside and stay OMMA’s decision to deactivate the license pending judicial review: enter an order setting aside the deactivation, or set aside the deactivation and remanding the decision back to OMMA with instructions to follow proper administrative procedures.
The company is also asking the court to rule that Windler had no right to surrender the license to OMMA, that OMMA violated the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act and the due process clause of the Oklahoma Constitution, and issue an emergency and permanent injunction compelling OMMA to “comply with Oklahoma law related to all subjects addressed.”
A requested expedited hearing on the matter was not scheduled as of Thursday afternoon.
Contact Derrick James at firstname.lastname@example.org