Medical marijuana will be a cash-only market, with hassles for all

Oklahoma’s adoption of medical marijuana will be green in more ways than one: Retail dispensaries, processors, growing operations and tax agencies will have to work within a cash-only industry.

With marijuana still illegal at the federal level, businesses involved in medical marijuana won’t have easy access to the federal banking system to move money around. Customers will have to pay in cash at dispensaries and can’t write checks. Employees won’t be able to use direct deposit, instead getting paid in cash. Monthly excise tax remittances will have to be taken in cash to the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s offices in Oklahoma City.


Oklahoma: What 'gaps' will the legislature need to fill in medical marijuana regulations?

Legislature will be asked to fill in gaps in emergency medical marijuana rules. 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health will participate in a question-and-answer session Wednesday with the bipartisan, bicameral working group assigned to handle medical marijuana regulations.

Although the group cannot enact policy until the Legislature is in session, Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates has said there were “some gaps” in the newest iteration of emergency rules that lawmakers should address.

Buffy Heater, chief of data, public policy and promotion for the Health Department, said Friday that the board was unable to enact rules it wanted on three major issues: laboratory testing, product recalls, and product packaging and labeling.


Marijuana petition to get state constitutional question on ballot surpasses required signature threshold

An activist group that has sought to get a constitutional state question regarding recreational marijuana placed on the November ballot appears to have scored a major victory in that push.

Green The Vote announced Sunday that it has compiled enough signatures — 132,527, to be exact — for State Question 797 to be put up for vote on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. The measure would incorporate the right to recreational marijuana in the Oklahoma Constitution.


Legalizing medical marijuana doesn’t change its status in prisons

For Oklahoma inmates, the state’s legalization of medical marijuana will not translate into access in the state prison system.

Marijuana of any type will still be contraband behind bars, mirroring the path other states have taken by partially or fully legalizing marijuana but not allowing it in prisons.

Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh declined to answer questions about inmates’ access to medical marijuana.


Oklahoma: Health board to call special meeting to consider amending medical marijuana rules

The Oklahoma State Board of Health plans to hold a special meeting to consider amending the rules regulating medical marijuana.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter on Wednesday advised the board to convene a special meeting to amend the rules it passed regulating medical marijuana.

Officials with the health board released the following statement,

"The Board of Health appreciates the quick review by the Attorney General and acknowledges the advice and counsel regarding the prior adoption of emergency rules on State Question 788. The legal analysis by the Attorney General provides clarity on several rules and the legal authority we have to construct a regulatory framework for a state-wide medical marijuana program.


Oklahoma republicans join fight against medical marijuana restrictions

Republicans aren’t happy with Oklahoma’s medical marijuana restrictions.

Republican Party groups in Oklahoma have joined the fight against restrictions added by regulators to the state’s new medical marijuana program. On June 26, voters passed State Question 788 (SQ 788) by a margin of 57-43 percent. The measure legalizes the medicinal use of cannabis in the state and creates a regulated supply chain to provide medicine to patients.


Amid much debate, Oklahoma implements a THC limit for its new medical program

Medical professionals in the state argued marijuana doesn’t need to be stronger than 12% THC, but patients are saying that’s not true.

On Tuesday (July 10), Oklahoma’s Board of Health decided to limit the amount of THC allowed in cannabis sold as a part of the state’s newly-approved medical marijuana program. The rules, which will be adopted by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, established to oversee the state’s new cannabis program, put a 12% THC limit on “medical marijuana products” which will be available in dispensaries. To put this in perspective, the average THC level of legal recreational cannabis in Colorado is 18.7%.


Board approves rules for medical marijuana; prohibits dispensing of smokable marijuana

In a controversial decision, the Oklahoma State Board of Health approved the rules for medical marijuana with a couple of exceptions.

On Sunday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health released an updated version of emergency rules for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority program. The 76-page document comes nearly two weeks after voters approved State Question 788, legalizing the use of medical marijuana.

However, the Oklahoma State Medical Association said the rules should also include three additional recommendations like banning smokable cannabis and limiting the number of dispensaries.


Oklahoma: Medical industry pushes for THC limits on medical marijuana

Although a large majority of public comments about State Question 788 urged the Oklahoma State Department of Health not to impose cannabinoid percentage limits for medical marijuana products, records show multiple medical industry officials support the proposed strict regulations.

However, a doctor who specializes in the scientific study of cannabis says limitations on product potency will diminish the spirit of the ballot measure approved last month that rightly gives wide latitude to medical professionals.


Medical marijuana users in Oklahoma can't legally own guns, federal officials say

Oklahoma voters on Tuesday approved State Question 788 to legalize medical marijuana. However, federal officials warn that anyone with a medical marijuana card is prohibited from owning firearms.

According to an open letter released in 2011 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, known as the ATF, federal law prohibits anyone who is an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition.

The open letter states that marijuana is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance in the Controlled Substances Act, and there are no exceptions for marijuana used for medicinal purposes, even if it has been legalized by state law.


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