Illegal international drug operations harm local dispensaries

Updated: Jul. 9, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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DURANT, Oklahoma (KXII) - Over the last couple of months the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics has seized more than two dozen illegal marijuana farms in Oklahoma, and with summer now here they are expecting more illegal farms to get busted.

“I laugh because I think it’s funny that they get caught because they are screwing over my growers, the people that sell us stuff,” Belvin said.

Dustin Belvin is the founder and owner of The Remedy in Durant, and although he hasn’t seen an increase or decrease in his sales, he has noticed more conversations are forming.

“I like whenever I see the OBNDD is poppin these massive illegal grows cause like in our reality that’s helping our people out, that’s helping out the people all doing it right, that’s helping out the people that have been waiting years literally decades to have some form of legalization and it’s helping them by getting rid of these bad actors,” Belvin said.

OBN says it’s cheaper to grow in Oklahoma than any other state, causing it to be the lead source in weed for consumers.

Spokesman for OBN Mark Woodward, said he started to notice a rise in illegal farms roughly when COVID hit.

“To make a true difference in Oklahoma we’ve got to get the people who are truly orchestrating the movement of these plants, these workers and laundering that money and most of them are not even within the borders of Oklahoma or the United States,” Woodward said.

The illegal growers can face multiple different charges if caught.

“I’m glad that they are doing away with them, I hope they will do away with them quicker,” Belvin said.

Senator Jim Inhofe has asked for $4 million in federal funds to allow the OBN to get a unit for domestic and international drug operations.

Woodward said they received a commitment from the legislature that would allow them to get the money.

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