The medical marijuana industry has experienced a significant evolution in the state of Oklahoma. Ever since the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) allowed the use of medical marijuana for qualifying conditions, this field has been growing exponentially.
Medical marijuana was legalized in the Sooner State in 2018 when Oklahoma voters approved the State Question 788. The new law allowed any patient with a medical marijuana card issued by a state-licensed medical practitioner to purchase, use, and grow medical marijuana.
Applying for a Medical Card
Obtaining a medical card in Oklahoma is a relatively straightforward process. Patients need to consult a certified doctor who can verify their qualifying medical conditions for the use of medical marijuana. After this, they can apply for their patient license through the OMMA, which is valid for two years.
Patients or their legal guardian can apply online by providing an email address, a valid identification card, and a 2x2 photo taken within the last six months. They also need to pay a state application fee. The OMMA typically processes applications within two weeks, after which the patient will receive their medical card. This state-issued license provides legal access to medicinal marijuana in the state of Oklahoma.
Expansion of Medical Marijuana Businesses
Due to the high demand for medical marijuana products, a variety of businesses - from growers and processors to dispensaries - have sprung up. There were reportedly 2,168 dispensary licenses in Oklahoma last year, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
This rise in medical marijuana businesses has also led to the introduction of commercial applications for food licenses. Medical marijuana dispensaries in Oklahoma now not only offer buds and pre-rolls but also infused edibles and drinks.
Patient Protection and Legal Implications
The State's medical marijuana program also incorporates the "Patient Protection Act" and "Unity Bill" to protect medical marijuana users from discrimination. This covers aspects such as workplace drug testing and custody decisions involving children of medical marijuana license holders.
Despite this, users should be aware that the use of marijuana, whether for medical purposes or recreational use, remains illegal under federal law. This dichotomy between state statute and federal law can create some legal complexities for medical marijuana businesses and users alike.
Navigating the Black Market Concerns
One significant issue that the state of Oklahoma has been grappling with is the operation of black markets dealing with illegal drugs. While it is legal to own cannabis for medical purposes in Oklahoma, the sales of marijuana products outside of state-licensed dispensaries are considered illegal.
As a precautionary measure, the Oklahoma law allows a medical marijuana patient to have up to three ounces of cannabis on their person and up to eight ounces at their primary residence. They are also allowed to cultivate up to six mature plants. This law aims to ensure patients have what they need for their treatment while minimizing the opportunity for black market sales.
Medical Marijuana and Its Impact on Health
Research studies have shown that medical cannabis use can benefit people with chronic pain and other medical conditions. It can also be used as part of a mental health consultation plan. However, substance use, especially during pregnancy, can be harmful. As such, pregnant women are usually advised not to use medical marijuana as it may affect the unborn child.
Driving Laws for Medical Marijuana Patients
Patient drives and the use of medical marijuana can be a challenging topic. Under Oklahoma law, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any dangerous drugs, including medical marijuana. Therefore, law enforcement has the authority to conduct drug tests if they suspect a driver is impaired due to marijuana use.
Out-of-State Patients and Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Use
Interestingly, the medical marijuana law in Oklahoma allows out-of-state patients to apply for a temporary patient card, provided they have a valid registry identification card from their home state. The temporary patient card grants them the same rights to purchase, use, and grow marijuana as Oklahoma residents for a 30-day period.
Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma - Looking Forward
With more than 367,000 active patient, caregiver, and business licenses issued, as reported by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority last month, the future of the medical marijuana industry in Oklahoma seems promising.
However, it's crucial for patients and marijuana business owners alike to stay informed about the evolving landscape and any changes to the law or regulations governing the use and sale of medical marijuana.
One great way to stay updated and ensure you're following the law is by seeking guidance from professional networks like ARCannabisClinic. As experts in this field, we can provide the support and resources needed to navigate this ever-evolving landscape in the state of Oklahoma.