Oklahoma voters legalize medical marijuana; health department finalizes regs

 

Last update: August 7, 2018

 

On June 26, 2018, Oklahoma voters made their state the 30th to legalize medical marijuana! Nearly 57% of voters supported the compassionate measure — SQ 788. Congratulations to the campaign and to all the patients, advocates, and voters!

The law went into effect on July 26, and a penalty-reduction piece of the law became operational. Individuals who possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis face a reduced penalty — a misdemeanor fine of up to $400 — if they “can state a medical condition.”

Meanwhile, the health department made application materials available online for patients and caregivers, along with information for medical cannabis businesses and physicians. It will begin accepting applications on August 25. Licensed medical marijuana patients and caregivers will be allowed to possess and grow limited amounts of cannabis. (You can read our summary of SQ 788 here.)

After voters passed SQ 788, regulators swiftly adopted emergency regulations, which included onerous restrictions that were inconsistent with the voter initiative — such as a ban on smokeable cannabis and edibles, a THC cap, and a ban on Sunday sales.

Reports of official misconduct surfaced and cast a cloud over the regulatory process. After advocates filed suit, regulators went back to the drawing board and released revised regulations (summarized here). Gov. Mary Fallin approved the revised rules on August 6.

While the regulations still have some concerning provisions, they are a major improvement, including by nixing the THC cap, removing the ban on edible and smokeable cannabis, and eliminating the ban on Sunday sales.

Meanwhile, a legislative working group has been meeting to consider making revisions to the law, which some advocates are requesting.


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