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PM NewsBrief: Aug. 3, 2022

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

Medical Marijuana Authority extends licensing moratorium for businesses

Oklahomans looking to obtain a medical marijuana business license now have a little longer to get one before a licensing moratorium takes effect. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is extending the window for processing new applications until August 26.

Oklahoma’s legislature passed a bill this session that would halt the OMMA from processing any new grower, processor or dispensary business license applications.

The idea is to give the agency a chance to catch up on applications, inspections and investigations before issuing any new licenses. The moratorium expires in August 2024 or earlier if the agency is able to catch up before then.

OMMA Executive Director Adria Berry says the agency misinterpreted the effective date of the bill. State law requires a certain amount of votes for bills to take effect sooner than 90 days after the session adjourns, and it didn’t receive enough votes for that to happen.

The OMMA will now stop processing applications on August 26 at 12:01 a.m.

Oklahoma has seen a flood of new cannabis businesses since legalization in 2018. For perspective, California has 10 times the population of Oklahoma and has had medical cannabis available for 26 years - and yet, California has around 900 dispensaries to Oklahoma’s 2,300.

Oklahoma City has received millions in federal funding in an effort to combat youth homelessness

According to a news release, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the city more than 3-million dollars from the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program.

That money will be distributed among several metro nonprofits that focus on youth homelessness, including Sisu Youth Services and Hope Community Services.

Oklahoma City is the first in the state, and one of nearly two-dozen cities in the country to get federal money to help homeless youth.

June primary election audit results

Oklahoma’s State Election Board announced the results of an audit of the June primary earlier this week. The report revealed no evidence of election fraud.

The post-election audit of 36 races in 33 different counties from the June 28 elections found no tabulation errors.

Officials say they did find a couple minor problems related to ballot categorization. But those did not affect the final tally - and by law, the election results could not have been impacted by the results of the audit.

The audit included Election Day, mail-in absentee, and early voting ballots.

The law authorizing the audits was passed in 2019 but had not been implemented until now due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baby Mississippi kites appear in droves at an Oklahoma wildlife rehabilitation center

At WildCare Oklahoma, a wildlife rehab facility in Noble, juvenile kites fill several large kennels. The older juveniles have gray, black and white plumage while the nestlings are fuzzy balls of white.

WildCare Director Inger Giuffrida says with the triple-digit heat, it just gets too hot for babies to stay in their nests.

“And because Mississippi kite nests are at the very tops of trees, two things happen: one, they fall a pretty good ways. And then secondly, it can be very difficult to get them back up in the nest.”

Guiffrida says WildCare tries to renest all baby raptors, but kites nest so high that reuniting them with parents can be difficult.

If you find a kite, she says to first see if the parents are around- they could be crying or circling overhead, or may even try to dive-bomb you to protect their babies. Next, call WildCare. If the baby is injured, they will work to get them healthy so they can be reunified or released.

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