State senator looking to get rid of medical marijuana billboards in Oklahoma

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Medical marijuana billboard in Oklahoma. (Stephen Sealey)

The medical marijuana industry is booming in Tulsa, and lawmakers are trying to catch up. There are more than 15 proposed bills for regulating the industry, and one of those addresses the billboards seen around town advertising dispensaries.

Oklahoma State Senator Mark Allen is looking to put a stop to medical marijuana billboards in the state.

He sponsored Senate Bill 1257, which would prohibit medical marijuana billboards.

Allen thinks the billboards promote marijuana to younger people.

"I think it has an effect on the youth... and that's why I decided to run the piece of legislation,” he said.

Oklahomans for Health & GnuPharma owner Chip Paul is OK with the billboards but agreed that some changes are needed.

“Pharmacies advertise on billboards, but it's kind of the content of what goes into that advertisement," he said. “In-your-face images or over-sexualizing things... no. Go to Colorado and do that."

"The federal government has outlawed, banned smoking ads on billboards, and so, that's where the basis comes from," Allen said.

There are 16 bills heading into legislative session looking to regulate the medical marijuana industry.

Paul said he welcomes it in order to bring structure to the industry to a degree. He wants the government to keep the core values of the industry in place.

The legislative session begins Feb. 3.