The First medical marijuana and agricultural testing laboratory in Creek County is taking residence in Sapulpa

A brand new laboratory and testing facility will be built off 81st St S and Gary Dr in Sapulpa—the first facility of its kind in all of Creek County.

The medical testing lab was approved by the Sapulpa City Council to move forward with several conditions. The conditions require the facility to be built in a similar manner as an agricultural building surrounded by trees to make sure it blends with the surrounding areas. The facility is only allowed to test medicinal marijuana and other agricultural products such as soybeans, and a maximum of ten employees. Waste from the lab must be removed by licensed professionals to a properly licensed disposal facility. Per regulations, the 1,500 square foot facility can only have signage on the structure and outdoor lightning must be pointed down and away from any adjoining properties.

The lab will be oriented along 81st street to avoid sending traffic through the nearby neighborhood, which was a major concern for the residents. The facility’s purpose will be to test for mold and pesticides among other things in medical marijuana. If the facility ever moves, the title changes, or anything else, the Specific Use Permit will be revoked and the lab will be reduced to an agricultural accessory building on the ten-acre lot. The SUP allows the lab itself to be zoned as a commercial facility, but the ten acres around it remain agricultural.

Sponsored by:

The laboratory will not be visible unless in a helicopter or on google earth, according to city attorney David Widdoes, and is surrounded by industrial and agricultural tracts. There was voiced concern from the council about the amount of marijuana present in the lab at any given time, as well as security and waste concerns. Widdoes stated the marijuana is put through a machine and broken down to determine health hazards, if any, per state law. According to the council, the closest testing facility to Sapulpa is thought to be in Broken Arrow. This facility would be the first testing facility in Creek County.

The applicant and owner, Mary Herman, was present at the Sapulpa City Council meeting Monday evening, to answer questions and concerns from the board. Herman says she grew up in Sapulpa and is a licensed medical laboratory scientist with a microbiology degree. Her husband, Bryce Herman, is also a chemical engineer. Herman continued to say that accurate cannabis testing is needed in Oklahoma – medical patients can face serious health risks if testing is not performed correctly. Herman has been helping patients for around sixteen years in medical labs, with several years of experience in lab testing specifically. She addressed the great concern of sample sizes, assuring that sample sizes are no more than two grams per sample, and during an ‘aggressively good month’, the facility will process around 100 samples or 200 grams of medical marijuana. A medical patient is allowed to possess 8 ounces, or 226.8 grams, of medical marijuana in their home at one time. “The difference in how much we will actually have on the property will be minuscule in comparison to grow or dispensary,” Herman stated.

City Councilor Dr. John Suggs asked about the total amount of liquid waste during an ‘aggressively good month’, to which Herman estimated between two to five gallons a month. Suggs also asked about Herman’s intentions to grow the business outside the bounds of this proposed laboratory. Herman admitted they wouldn’t be upset if they were hugely successful, and is hopeful that if they outgrew this facility they could purchase and renovate a building in downtown Sapulpa to house a bigger one.

There were five residents present at the meeting who voiced opinions and concerns on the testing lab, both in favor of and against. Neighbors were supportive in the endeavors of American-made small businesses, and any prior concerns had been adequately addressed and laid to rest. Comments against the facility included ‘what-if’s regarding allowing a commercial business close to a neighborhood, and what that could mean in the future, as well as traffic and property taxes.

The council and Herman both assured residents that the SUP would not allow another commercial building to take over and that if the Hermans did relocate their business, the facility would return to agricultural zoning like the rest of the tract. The facility is required to have nine parking spaces plus one ADA space per commercial zoning regulations, but Herman doesn’t foresee there being more than two employees at the facility at any given time, and they would most likely have less than five employees total in the beginning.

The medical marijuana testing facility was approved to move forward by the Sapulpa City Council, with a final vote of 6 – 2.

Sign Up For The Timeloop Newsletter!

Keep up with what's happening in Sapulpa via the Timeloop email—plus see our other options for sports, breaking news and garage sales!