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July 17, 2018

Porta Potties at the Parks, Pecan Street & Pot


A frequent comment from visitors to Luther’s two Town parks is the lack of a place “to go,” as in, “to the restroom.” Until a more permanent solution is in place, Luther based company Dump Depot will provide porta-potties at both Wildhorse Park and Washington Park.

It was announced at the July Luther Town Trustee Meeting. Kenny Payne operates Dump Depot and is a leader in the market. He is generous in helping the town and local organizations that draw a crowd, including The Luther Pecan Festival,  with porta-potty needs. 

This historic building on Main Street now houses Beth’s Baubles & Bits. To get the shop ready for retail, it got a new roof, masonry and many other updates.

In other meeting news, the Town Board agreed to repair the roofs on both Town Hall and the Police Department. It is work that is long overdue, as evidenced every time it rains. The Town budgeted the repair work at an estimated cost of $14,000, and the board awarded the bid to Diversified Roofing in Edmond, the same company that recently repaired another Main Street building, Beth’s Baubles & Bits. 

The Board also announced the citizen vote winner for the unnamed street in front of the new construction of BancFirst, east of Town. Online voting took place on the Town’s website. Pecan Street garnered the most votes. 

The vote tallies were:
Pecan Street: 112 votes (53%)
Cox Lane: 73 votes (35%)
Aldrich Ave: 26 votes (12%)

The Town is behind on mowing and had little interest in the part-time mowing position that was advertised with intentions of offering it to a student. Trustees agreed to check with the Department of Corrections or private companies to help with keeping the town’s grass cut. 

There was a medical marijuana item on the July agenda.

Consideration, discussion and possible action to address Birlene Langley’s and Jeremy Birl Ring’s request to open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary as approved by the passage of Oklahoma State Question 788.

The operators of Rockin Vape shop in Luther, Langley and Ring, are interested in opening a dispensary. Interestingly enough, that agenda item fell on the same day the Oklahoma State Health Department announced new rules for the voter-approved medical marijuana item. Immediately controversial, the rules limited dispensaries to 50 state-wide and required a licenspharmacists amongong other things.

In a statement, Governor Mary Fallin backed the new rules:

“These rules are the best place to start in developing a proper regulatory framework for medical marijuana, with the highest priority given to the health and safety of Oklahomans. They are also the quickest and most cost-efficient way to get the process actually started as required by the law passed by the people. I expect modifications could occur in the future. I know some citizens are not pleased with these actions. But I encourage everyone to approach this effort in a constructive fashion in order to honor the will of the citizens of Oklahoma who want a balanced and responsible medical marijuana law. The state question placed an accelerated implementation period upon the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which is required to start the application process by July 26 – just two weeks away. The Health Department has been working with 17 other agencies the past three months on crafting these emergency rules. Asking the Legislature to pass comprehensive legislation in a special session is not realistic.

“Dealing with medical marijuana is unchartered territory for our state, and there are many opinions, including divisive views even among SQ 788 backers, on how this should be implemented. Discussions have been going on the past few months in and outside the Capitol with no clear-cut agreement. I appreciate the hard work of Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates and his staff, who take seriously their responsibility to protect the health and safety of all Oklahomans.”

While the battle continues at the state level, the Town Board agreed at the July meeting that it is too soon to set up a local framework for a local dispensary.

In related news, there is a new statewide initiative petition to put recreational marijuana on the November ballot. Read about it here. 

This measure would add a new article to the Oklahoma Constitution to allow for the classification or marijuana as an herbal drug to be regulated by the Oklahoma Cannabis Commission. The measure would permit the use of marijuana under the recommendation of a physician. It would allow the sale of marijuana to licensed patients by licensed dispensaries and allows the sale of marijuana to licensed dispensaries by licensed growers. Revenue from taxes and fees from the marijuana sales would be used to fund the regulatory processes for the marijuana program, with excess revenue being split with 75% going to the Oklahoma State Department of Education and 25% to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The measure would allow local municipalities to impose an additional tax to be used solely for the construction and repair of roads. The measure would also allow marijuana with less than 0.3% THC to be reclassified as industrial hemp and allows for the growth and commerce of industrial hemp when registered with the Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture.[2][3]

The petitions are available locally at Jarvis Liquor on Highway 66 in Luther.

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