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Key provisions of Oklahoma's proposed medical marijuana law

Following are some answers to frequently asked questions about Oklahoma's proposed medical marijuana law that Oklahomans will vote on June 26 when they consider State Question 788:

Will State Question 788 make marijuana use legal in Oklahoma?

Yes and no. Marijuana use would become legal under state law for a person who obtains a recommendation from an Oklahoma board certified physician and license from the state Health Department. It would remain illegal under federal law.

What ailments would qualify a patient to obtain a medical marijuana license?

The state question specifically says "there are no qualifying conditions." That would leave it up to the patient's physician to determine whether a particular medical condition warranted a medical marijuana recommendation.

Would there be an age restriction for becoming a medical marijuana patient?

Generally, a patient must be 18 or older, but younger individuals could qualify with written approval from two physicians and the individual's parent or legal guardian.

What would an Oklahoma medical marijuana license allow a patient to do?

As far as state law is concerned, patients would be allowed to: 1) Consume marijuana legally. 2) Possess up to three ounces of marijuana on their person. 3) Possess up to one ounce of concentrated marijuana. 4) Possess 72 ounces of edible marijuana. 5) Possess up to eight ounces of marijuana in their residence.

• Would licensed medical marijuana patients be allowed to home grow their marijuana?

Yes, they would be allowed to possess up to six mature marijuana plants and up to six seedling plants.

Could cities and counties establish different guidelines concerning how much medical marijuana a licensed patient could possess?

Yes, the state question being considered by voters would allow states and counties to increase the limits set by the state, but not lower those limits.

How long would a medical marijuana user's license be good for and how much would it cost?

A patient's license would be good for two years and cost $100. It would only cost $20 for individuals on Medicaid, Medicare or SoonerCare.

Where and when can a person apply to obtain a license to use medical marijuana if State Question 788 passes?

The state Health Department would be required to establish a website within 30 days where application forms could be obtained. It would be required to set up a regulatory office to receive applications from patients, dispensaries, growers and packagers within 60 days.

Would medical marijuana license applications be public records?

No.

Would visitors who have been issued medical marijuana licenses from other states be able to purchase and use medical marijuana in Oklahoma?

Individuals with valid patient medical marijuana licenses from other states would be able to purchase temporary, 30-day licenses in Oklahoma for $100. Temporary licenses could be renewed.

Would medical marijuana sales be taxed?

Yes, a 7 percent medical marijuana sales tax would be collected. Revenue from that tax primarily would be used to finance the regulatory office. If there are excess revenues, 75 percent would go to the state General Revenue Fund for common education and 25 percent would go to the state Health Department for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

How many licenses for commercial growers, dispensaries and processors would be authorized in Oklahoma?

Unlimited. The proposed law would require the Health Department to approve all applications for such licenses that meet seven basic criteria: 1) Applicant must be 25 or older. 2) Individual applicants must show proof of Oklahoma residency. 3) All applying entities must show that all members, managers and board members are Oklahoma residents. 4) An applying entity may show ownership of non-Oklahoma residents, but that percentage ownership may not exceed 25 percent. 5) Applicants must be registered to do business in Oklahoma. 6) Applicants must disclose all ownership. 7) Applicants with nonviolent felony convictions within the last two years, other types of felony convictions within the last five years, inmates and other incarcerated individuals would be ineligible. Licenses for dispensary operators, commercial growers and processors would each cost $2,500.

When would the new medical marijuana law become effective?

One month after the passage of State Question 788.

Could the Oklahoma Legislature change the new law if State Question 788 is approved by a vote of the people?

Yes, approval of the state question would create a new law, but it would not be a constitutional amendment. Legislative change not only would be possible, it would be expected. Even backers of the ballot measure note the proposed new law is only five pages long and say hundreds of pages of new laws and regulations likely would be needed to fully implement an effective medical marijuana program.

Randy Ellis

For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two... Read more ›

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