Oklahoma quickly becoming marijuana haven since voters approved medical cannabis

The rollout of statewide medical and recreational marijuana programs typically is a grindingly slow process that can take years. Not so in Oklahoma, which moved with lightning speed once voters approved medical cannabis in June.

The ballot question received 57 percent support and established one of the nation’s most liberal medical pot laws in one of the most conservative states. Six months later, the cannabis industry is booming.

Farmers and entrepreneurs are racing to start commercial grow operations, and the state is issuing licenses to new patients, growers and dispensary operators at a frantic pace. Retail outlets opened just four months after legalization.


'Way over black market': Medical marijuana prices cause some sticker shock as question of taxes still looms

A patient at OKind Medical Marijuana Dispensary on opening day said she knew she would need a lot of cash but had no idea what her purchase might amount to at the Sapulpa retailer.

She was told most strains would cost $50-$55 for an eighth-ounce, making OKind one of the more costly dispensaries to open immediately after growers’ first harvests. But she didn’t know if she would have to pay state sales tax, 4.5 percent, on top of the 7 percent tax mandated in State Question 788, or whether Sapulpa also levies its own city sales tax on cannabis products.


Oklahoma health board approves marijuana edibles rules

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin will soon consider food safety rules on marijuana edibles, which advocates say should help bring clarity to the cannabis-infused food market.

The Oklahoma Board of Health voted Tuesday to send the rules to Fallin for approval, The Oklahoman reported .

The rules follow similar guidelines for foods that don't have THC, but do include additional labeling and testing requirements, said Buffy Heater, the project manager for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. THC is the compound in marijuana that causes a high.

Processers will be required to include the amount of THC on the label of all edible products, as well as the number to Poison Control in case of accidental ingestion.


Oklahoma Board of Health sends marijuana edibles rules to governor

The state Board of Health voted on Tuesday to send food safety rules for marijuana edibles to Gov. Mary Fallin.

Some advocates welcomed the vote, saying it would bring clarity to the market for cannabis-infused food.

A food safety standards board had put together the recommendations over the course of three hours-long meetings in August. The standards largely line up with rules for foods that don't include marijuana, but they do have some additional testing and labeling requirements, said Buffy Heater, project manager for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.


Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority approves licenses for thousands of patients, businesses

Almost four months after Oklahomans approved a measure to legalize medical marijuana, state officials say thousands have already been approved for a license.

Under State Question 788, a person 18 years or older would need to apply for a medical marijuana license with the Oklahoma State Department of Health after receiving a note from their doctor. If approved, the patient would then have to pay $100 to obtain that license.

Since applications became available in August, officials say thousands of Oklahomans have applied for licenses.


Oklahoma approves over 12,000 medical marijuana licenses

Less than four months after voters in Oklahoma legalized the use of medical marijuana, more than 12,000 patients have been approved for licenses by state regulators. Nearly 2,000 more licenses have been issued to cannabis businesses, according to a tweet from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA).


Opportunity grows in Oklahoma medical marijuana lab

Opportunity is growing in Oklahoma's medical marijuana industry as fast as brand-new seedlings. With $5.7 million in licensing fees already collected from patients, caregivers, dispensaries, growers and processors, the state is ready to regulate the new industry.

2 Works for You met a husband-and-wife team determined to make it big in the field of cannabis. Cynthia and Chip Paul co-founded Gnu Pharma and have already launched other companies to meet the needs they anticipate in the medical marijuana industry. They set up operations in a small industrial Park in Owasso.   "We've actually only been here a month," entrepreneur Cynthia Paul said. "We're still pretty new in this facility."  


Fifth lawsuit filed: How are cities across Oklahoma regulating businesses and patients

With dozens of municipalities across Oklahoma putting local ordinances in place to regulate medical marijuana, five cities are now facing lawsuits over restrictions considered too prohibitive to jibe with state law. Dozens of cities across the state have been updating their ordinances and zoning codes in the months since State Question 788 passed with 57 percent support, legalizing medical marijuana in the state.

Tulsa and Broken Arrow were the first to draw lawsuits regarding restrictions, followed by suits filed in Yukon and Sulphur. On Wednesday, plaintiffs in Weatherford filed a new lawsuit over medical marijuana.

In the latter three cities, ordinances passed by city leaders were much more prohibitive than what was being discussed in Broken Arrow and Tulsa.


Oklahoma lawmakers approve recommendations for medical marijuana testing standards

Oklahoma lawmakers on a legislative working group have unanimously approved recommendations for medical marijuana testing standards. The goal of the 11-page proposal is to ensure medical marijuana products sold in dispensaries are safe, said group co-chair Sen. Greg McCortney, R-Ada.

"We’re going to test it to make sure it doesn’t have poisons, pesticides and also test the potency of it," McCortney said. "Since it’s a medicine, just like any other medicine, you want to make sure it actually has the medicinal values you’re looking for."


Oklahoma: City drops spacing requirements for medical marijuana growers, processors; moratorium's fate uncertain

The Mayor’s Office is no longer requesting a moratorium on the establishment of medical marijuana facilities and has dropped a key regulation aimed at growers and processors of the product, city councilors learned Wednesday.


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