by Shannon Foreman | Jul 6, 2018
Tokelahoma, where the weed comes sweeping down the plains!
If you haven’t heard about SQ 788, here is a rundown:
It’s a medical marijuana bill for Oklahoma (simply put). So far, SQ 788 passed but we still have until the end of this month for final words from the legislation. That means Oklahoma will be the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana! Per the bill, a person can legally possess 3 ounces of flower on their person, have 6 mature marijuana plants, 6 seedling plants, 1 ounce of concentrate, 72 ounces of edibles, and possess up to 8 ounces of cannabis in their residence (section 1 subsection A). Sounds reasonable right? Well, here is the kicker. If you're caught with weed and haven't gone through the medical license process (but you can still show that you have a medical condition), it’s a misdemeanor offense with a fine not to exceed $400 (Section 1 Subsection B).
Now, according to section 1 subsection D of SQ 788, the medical marijuana license will be valid for two years, and the fee will be $100. If you are on Medicaid, Medicare, or SoonerCare (Oklahoma based state insurance) the application fee will be $20. It also states that the Oklahoma State Department of Health shall publish an application that is on their website, in an easy to find location. No seriously, that’s almost verbatim what it says. Now according to section 1 subsection E, it recognizes other states' medical marijuana licenses. So, if you are a med patient here in Colorado, you can take a trip to the good ole’ south and still get your medication.
Something that really caught my eye is Section 1 subsection K. A caregiver license will be made available for qualified caregivers of a medical marijuana patient. This would give the caregiver the same rights as the MMJ license holder. The criteria doesn't seem too crazy: proof of the MMJ license status and homebound status, that they are the designated caregiver of the MMJ patient, and of course, they must be 18.
Let’s skip to Oklahoma patients. All applicants must be 18 or older, but there are exceptions. If two physicians both agree and sign that the patient would be positively affected by medical marijuana and the applicant's parent or legal guardian signs off on it, then a minor can get his/her Medical Marijuana License (section 1 subsection L).
If you're over 18, you just need one signature by an Oklahoma Board Certified Physician. There are NO underlying conditions. “A medical marijuana license must be recommended according to the accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication," (Section 1 subsection M). This leaves the decision mainly up to the doctor.
After you have all your paperwork done and sent to the Oklahoma Health Department, they will mail an approval or rejection letter (which also states why you were rejected) within 14 days of receiving the application. If you're approved, you'll receive the license in the mail (Section 1 subsection I).
I think this bill is lax but effective. I’m excited for the patients that can get the medicine they need legally. I’m excited about the economic and employment benefits. The current unemployment rate in Oklahoma is 4%, as of March, 2018. Let’s hope this opens up job opportunities!