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Medical Cannabis Moving Ahead In Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s State Board of Health has voted on a set of rules for governing the state’s medicinal marijuana program, but trouble looms.

As we reported here on Hemp Gazette, late last month Oklahoma voters passed State Question 788, which legalised the broad licensed use, sale, and cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority recently released its final proposed draft emergency rules for the state’s program. Among the proposed rules were:

  • All doctors wanting to recommend marijuana must be  Oklahoma Board Certified Physicians and must register with the Department of Health.
  • Registered patients will be able to appoint a caregiver in certain circumstances.
  • Registered patient will be able to home-grow marijuana, which must be behind a fence, under lock and key and not visible from any street.
  • All growers, processors and dispensaries must register with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
  • Only indoor growing will be permitted for commercial operations.
  • A single serving (odd word to use) of a medical marijuana product processed or dispensed must not exceed ten (10) milligrams active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). For concentrates it’s 12% and mature plants, 20%.

The full set of proposed draft rules can be viewed here.

The Oklahoma State Board of Health met yesterday to consider the rules and made some changes. According to NewsOK, it has banned smoking products (which was permitted in the draft) and added a requirement that dispensaries must hire a pharmacist. However, the smoking ban would not apply to those registered patients who home-grow.

Still, State Representative from Oklahoma City’s House District 92, Forrest Bennett, was not happy.

“Today, the Health Department ignored the will of the people re: SQ788. By banning many edible forms and now banning smokable products, they’re attacking the spirit of the law. I will do everything I can to correct this, and I’m sure many of my House colleagues feel the same,” he said.

The Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association stated:

“It was clearly the will of the people and the intent under SQ788 that we have smokable medical marijuana in our program.  This is a gross over regulation and a skewing of the intent of the law.”

The Association also said a registered pharmacist would be at risk of losing their license when dispensing medical marijuana as it isn’t an FDA approved drug.

The rules will now go to Governor Mary Fallin for approval – and the Governor isn’t SQ788’s biggest fan as we mentioned. The Department of Health is also expecting some legal challenges with regard to some of its decisions.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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