Last June, Oklahoma became the 30th state in the country to legalize medical cannabis. The vote passed by 57 percent to 43 percent margin and it will allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis for any ailment they deem fit. Oklahoma's medical cannabis industry is different than most other states since they do not have a definitive list of conditions doctors can prescribe medical cannabis to patients.
Under the new Oklahoma medical cannabis law, patients will receive a state-issued ID and can have up to three ounces of cannabis in public. Within their homes, legal patients are allowed to store up to eight ounces and can cultivate six mature plants and six seedlings. One ounce of cannabis concentrates and 72 ounces of cannabis-infused edibles are allowed, and patients can appoint a caregiver to purchase or grow medicine for them.
Even patients who do not have the Oklahoma medical cannabis card are somewhat protected under this new law. If they are caught with 1.5 ounces or less of cannabis and can say what their medical ailment is, they will be charged with a misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine which is capped at $400. Legal Oklahoma medical cannabis will also carry a 7% retail tax with revenue going toward implementation and regulation costs initially, and the remaining money would be used to fund education as well as substance abuse rehabilitation programs.
New Rules for Oklahoma Medical Cannabis
Although the vote to allow Oklahoma medical cannabis passed without any problems amongst voters, there were several rules within the document that were deemed unnecessary. The nine-member Oklahoma State Board of Health had implemented rules so extreme they warranted two lawsuits. All of this was mainly caused by the opposition who did not want to see legalized Oklahoma medical cannabis become a reality. Because of these outrageous rules, a new set of rules were set into place toward the legalization of Oklahoma medical cannabis. These improved rules are now less than a third of the length they were originally.
The new rules no longer have amendments that say that a pharmacist has to be in Oklahoma's medical cannabis dispensaries and has to hand out the product to patients. They also lift a ban on a THC cap that was placed on products and on smokable forms of cannabis. There was also a pregnancy test that was removed. This pregnancy test, which was unique to the state of Oklahoma's medical cannabis program, would force doctors to perform a pregnancy test on women of "childbearing years" before recommending them medical cannabis. Now, women will receive equal treatment to their male counterparts.
The new rules were recently approved and signed by Governor Mary Fallin this Monday, but there are still holes as many people still have several important questions that have gone unanswered. But nonetheless, patients will be allowed to apply for Oklahoma medical cannabis licenses in less than three weeks regardless if advocates are happy with the rules or not.
Oklahoma Recreational Cannabis
Green The Vote, an Oklahoma cannabis activist group announced that they had compiled enough signatures for State Question 797 to be put up for a vote on the November 6 general election ballot. State Question 797 asks "shall there be an amendment to the Oklahoma constitution concerning adult use marijuana". Green The Vote needed at least 124,000 signatures on the petition by August 8.
The passage of SQ 797 would allow Oklahoma cannabis to be legalized for citizens 21 and older while also allowing commercial entities to create a recreational cannabis industry in the state. Adults would be allowed to possess or consume up to two ounces of cannabis for recreational uses. The estimated $40 million from the sales tax would all go to rebuilding the public schools within the state of Oklahoma. The new amendment would also allow medical or recreational users to be able to transfer up to an ounce of cannabis for both medical uses and recreational ones.
It came out via social media, that the number of supposed petition votes had been an inflated number. The actual number of votes they had received on the ballot was closer to 73,000-78,000, nowhere near the number of votes they needed to get the question of legalizing Oklahoma recreational cannabis on the ballot. Dody Sullivan, who reportedly left the group a week ago was the one who blew the whistle on the whole operation. In a Facebook video posted on the Green the Vote page, she said "I had no knowledge of this. It breaks my heart, it really does," while breaking down in tears.