Press Release

August 18, 2021

Governor Stitt Takes Action to Address Challenges Caused by Growing Marijuana Industry

Adria Berry head shot

Governor Kevin Stitt today named Adria Berry as the new executive director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to address challenges caused by the growing marijuana industry, including the increase of illegal marijuana operations.

Berry will be tasked with working with legislators, law enforcement and stakeholders to identify ways to ensure Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program is not being exploited by bad actors while protecting Oklahomans’ rights established by State Question 788.

“I am committed to tackling the major challenges that the explosion of marijuana in Oklahoma is causing across our state,” said Gov. Stitt. “Foreign nationals are gobbling up land in rural communities and drug traffickers are exploiting our laws and threatening our public safety. Adria Berry is the right leader to help us solve these problems and protect Oklahomans.”

Berry will also lead increased collaboration on enforcement with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, which is possible after the Legislature authorized OMMA to work more closely with other state agencies.

She returns to state government after serving as the senior vice president of government affairs and public policy for The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma. Prior to her work there, she served in the Stitt administration as counselor to the Secretary of State, where she advised the governor as part of his senior staff on complex policy issues including the COVID-19 pandemic response and the 2020 legislative session.

“I am honored and looking forward to working for citizens across the state who have been patient as the OMMA worked to get its bearings after the passage of State Question 788 legalized medical marijuana in Oklahoma,” said Berry. “The staff at OMMA has worked tirelessly to address issues as they arise, and I am eager to join the team and work along-side them to continue solving problems and implementing sound policy for all Oklahomans.”

Berry earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington and graduated law school from the University of Tulsa College of Law.

Her hiring has received bipartisan support from state lawmakers.

QUOTES OF ENDORSEMENT:

“Adria Berry is a great choice to lead OMMA. Having known and worked with her at the Capitol, I know Adria to be an intelligent, hard-working, and focused leader. I look forward to working with her and the team at OMMA to ensure the state’s regulatory framework around medical marijuana that strikes the balance of protecting the health and safety of Oklahomans with establishing the right economic environment for businesses to serve their customers.” – Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City.

“There are significant problems in rural Oklahoma when it comes to marijuana operations – illegal grows and foreigners purchasing large amounts of land to establish these grows are just the tip of the iceberg I’m thrilled to be working with Adria to tackle these problems head on, and her appointment to lead OMMA is a step in the right direction to get our state where we need to be.” – Senator Greg McCortney, R-Ada

“The problems occurring with illegal marijuana are of great concern and magnitude. I am glad to hear that Adria is joining OMMA to battle this ongoing issue. Adria’s years of experience and proven track record assure me she will excel in this role, and I look forward to watching her take on this task.” – Senator Kim David, R-Porter

“I have taken a more detailed interest in OMMA because of constituent concerns that have been expressed to me.  This new development of having Adria Berry in the lead with them, gives me renewed hope that we can work with my constituents to help smooth out some of the rocky start.  Ms. Berry has been knowledgeable and responsive in my other close work with her and I look forward to the same in her new venture.” – Senator George Young, D-Oklahoma City

"Adria is the perfect choice to lead the OMMA," Rosino said. "We've worked together since I was elected to the Senate, and she has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the state's medical marijuana policies. I know her bold leadership will ensure the success of our medical marijuana program for years to come. There's no doubt challenges lay ahead of us as we work to weed out illegal grows, but I know we are in good hands with Adria in charge." - Senator Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City