OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Board of Health recently adopted several major changes to the state's medical marijuana laws, according to KOCO News 5.
Originally, dispensaries in the state could not sell smokable cannabis, licensed pharmacists were required to be at all dispensaries, and all women who were considered "of childbearing years" had to take a pregnancy test before being prescribed marijuana. Luckily, the new draft nixed these requirements.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed off on the rules and says she supports the changes.
"My approval of these rules moves medical marijuana to the realm of our Legislature," she said. "I'm glad the Legislature has a bipartisan group meeting weekly to move the state forward in developing the intent of what the public voted for with the passage of State Question 788 – making marijuana available to Oklahomans who need it solely for medical reasons..."
When the medical marijuana law was passed last month, Fallin said she expected adjustments to the language and openly endorsed further discussion.
“I encourage vivid discussion to develop policy proposals to make sure we have a medical marijuana regulatory framework in place that improves the health of Oklahomans who are sick and makes the business side work while protecting the safety of Oklahomans," she said about the new draft.
Changes May Have Been Sparked by Lawsuits Against Oklahoma State Board of Health
The new rules replace the original ones that were drafted earlier this year on July 10. They come after two cannabis advocacy groups challenged the first draft by filing lawsuits against the board.
One of the advocacy groups, Green the Vote, accused Fallin and five Oklahoma State Board of Health members of planning and hosting secret, closed-door meetings about the medical marijuana law.
The alleged meetings would violate the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act, which requires public notice and an agenda.
The other lawsuit alleged the Oklahoma State Board of Health used it's authority to make rules that were supported by the public.