Oklahoma residents approve State Question 788

By KAITLYN DILLARD
Staff Writer

Oklahoma residents have voted in favor of State Question 788 legalizing medical marijuana throughout the state by a wide margin. According to unofficial results reported by the Oklahoma State Election Board, 4,787 voters in Okmulgee County were for the proposal, while 3,406 were against it. State Question 788 was also well received across the state with 506,782 voters in favor of it and 384,654 against it.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is already working to develop a framework for implementing the requirements listed in the State Question.

“Now that Oklahoma voters have approved the measure, OSDH is confident that we are ready to meet those requirements by the specified time,” OSDH states. “Emergency rules governing the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will be considered by the Oklahoma State Board of Health at their July 10 meeting.”

State Question 788, under Section 1 (D), states that the OSDH must have applications for medical marijuana licenses available on their website 30 days after its passing. According to the state question, the license will be valid for a period of two years and will cost $100 or $20 for those individuals on Medicaid, Medicare or Soonercare.

OSDH has stated that all application information and requirements will be made available to the public on July 26 and the agency will be accepting applications no later than August 25.
According to the state question, “The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall review the medical marijuana application, approve/reject the application, and mail the applicant’s approval or rejection letter (stating reasons for rejection) to the applicant within 14 days of receipt of application.”

OSDH is also requesting those with questions should not visit the state or county health department offices for information. Program information will be made available online at omma.ok.gov.

“We are still working with limited staff who deliver clinical and other services across the state,” OSDH Interim Commissioner Tom Bates said. “All relevant information and instructions will be provided online.”

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s website allows for residents to review frequently asked questions, which are also included in this article, and an updated draft of the emergency rules for implementation of State Question 788.

A phone number has also been established by OSDH that will provide pre-recorded information for residents curious about the state question and its implementation at 405-271-2266.

OSDH isn’t the only agency that has had a ready reply to the state question’s passing. Through an open letter, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has informed Oklahomans that residents who have a medical marijuana license may not legally, by federal law, possess a firearm.

“A number of states have passed legislation allowing under state law the use or possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and some of these states issue a card authorizing the holder to use or possess marijuana under state law,” the letter reads.

The law the ATF references is Federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(3), which states that those who use a controlled substance, including marijuana in this instance, from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition. Under federal law marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, and according to the open letter the federal government does not recognize marijuana as a medicine.

“Therefore any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.”

Important dates:
July 10- Oklahoma State board of Health meeting
July 26- application information and requirements made available
August 25- Accepting applications

STATE QUESTION 788
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When and where will applications be available?
Application information and requirements will be available online at omma.ok.gov by July 26. However, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will not receive or process applications until August 25.
Who will be in charge of approving medical marijuana licenses?
The OSDH will create a regulatory office to oversee the program. This office will receive all licensing applications related to medical marijuana including patients, caregivers, growers, processors, transporters and dispensaries.
How long will it take for me to receive approval from OSDH?
The OSDH will respond to all applicants within 14 days on the denial or approval of your completed application packet.
How much does a patient medical marijuana license cost?
The license application fee will cost $100 and need to be renewed every two years. For Medicaid/SoonerCare or Medicare enrollees, the license application fee will cost $20.
What do I need from my physician to get a patient license?
For a patient to get a license, Oklahomans 18 and older would need to get a physician’s signature attesting that they need medical marijuana. Oklahomans under the age of 18 must get two physicians’ signatures. This must be documented on an official OSDH form that will be available on the program website, omma.ok.gov.
What if I need a caregiver to help me?
Under certain circumstances, a license may be provided to a designated caregiver of a licensed patient. Information will need to be provided to support this need.
What is the process for growers, processors, transporters, and dispensaries to obtain a license?
On July 26, application information and requirements for these licenses will be available at omma.ok.gov. Applicants must be at least 25 years old, reside in Oklahoma, and must be registered to conduct business in the state as well as meet other licensing requirements. Entities can have ownership consisting of no more than 25% ownership by non-Oklahoma residents. The license application fee for growers, processors, and dispensaries will be $2,500.
OSDH will continue to provide the most up to date information as the program is fully implemented. Please check omma.ok.gov or call (405) 271-2266 for updates.

STATE QUESTION NO. 788 INITIATIVE PETITION NO. 412
24 of 24 Precincts Completely Reporting

Absentee Mail
For the Proposal: 81
Against the Proposal: 96
Total: 177

Early Voting
For the Proposal: 241
Against the Proposal: 219
Total: 460

Election Day
For the Proposal: 4, 465
Against the Proposal: 3,406
Total: 7,556

Total Votes
For the Proposal: 4,787
Against the Proposal: 3,406
Total: 8,193

For the Proposal: 58.43 percent
Against the Proposal: 41.57 percent

 

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