Oklahoma Department of Health decides to ban the sale of smokable cannabis in emergency rules
State Question 788 to pass medical cannabis passed last month
DOH was warned the decision to ban the sale of smokable product would be challenged in court
Smoking cannabis is not prohibited under the emergency rules
Following last month’s passing vote of State Question 788 to legalize medical cannabis use in Oklahoma, this week the Oklahoma State Department of Health voted on emergency rules, one of which banned the sale of smokable cannabis.
A tweet from the director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, Ryan Kiesel, read, “In banning all smokeable forms of medical cannabis in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Health Department just guaranteed litigation. This is completely inconsistent with #SQ788 & a responsible medical cannabis program.”
The board recognized that placing a ban on smokable cannabis goes against what Oklahomans believed they were voting for with SQ 788. General counsel for the DOH Julie Ezell warned that removing smokable cannabis from the list of approved delivery methods could result with a challenge in court.
If the rule is kept, it does not ban smoking cannabis, just the sale of smokable cannabis. Meaning, since growing is permitted under SQ 788, those who grow their own would be allowed to smoke the product, but still could not sell it. As of now, any plants grown outdoors must be surrounded by a 6-foot fence under lock and key and not visible from the street.
Anybody prescribed smokable cannabis will be subject to the same public use restrictions as those who use tobacco. There will be an added provision banning the use of smokable cannabis in front of children.
DOH also put a cap on the potency of cannabis being sold. “Medical marijuana products processed or dispensed shall not have more than 12 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, while mature marijuana plants cannot be processed for sale if the THC content exceeds 20 percent.”
• Medical marijuana products sold at dispensaries shall not include smokables.
• Medical marijuana products processed or dispensed shall not have more than 12 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, while mature marijuana plants cannot be processed for sale if the THC content exceeds 20 percent.
• Dispensaries would have to have a manager who is a licensed health-care professional (i.e. a pharmacist).
• Home-grown medical marijuana plants shall be kept behind a fence at least 6 feet tall under lock and key and not be visible from any street. Those who are prescribed smokable medical marijuana, according to the draft, would be subject to the same restrictions on public consumption as those who smoke tobacco, with an added provision banning use in the presence of a minor.
• Commercial license applications would be accepted no earlier than 60 days from when the state question was approved. Applicants would have to show that the proposed business location is at least 1,000 feet from a school or church.
• Commercial license holders would not be authorized to have seedlings until Sept. 3, and they, along with patient license holders, wouldn’t be able to have mature plants until Oct. 26.
• Physicians, only licensed doctors of medicine or osteopathy, who anticipate recommending marijuana treatment would be required to register with the Health Department before such recommendations are made, and they would have to review their recommendations at least once annually. They also would have to screen patients for substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as whether the patient presents a “risk for the diversion of marijuana.”
• Physicians would not be able to recommend a woman of childbearing age for medical marijuana prescriptions without first performing a pregnancy test. If the woman is pregnant, the physician could still make a recommendation if he or she determines that the benefits of medical marijuana use outweigh the risk of harm.
• Recommendations for a minor patient would have to come within 30 days of each other from two pediatricians or a doctor who is board certified in a pediatric specialty. If approved, pediatric patients would not be allowed to use smokable or vapable medical marijuana products.
• Dispensaries would not be open Sundays.
• Medical marijuana research could be performed with a state license.
• No medical marijuana products could be made enticing to children, such as candy, fake cigarettes or gummies.
• A 7 percent tax would be collected by dispensaries.
• Purchase limits: 1-ounce limit of marijuana concentrate, 3-ounce limit on usable marijuana and/or 72-ounces on medical marijuana products (all per a single transaction between a dispensary and licensed patient or caregiver)
• Dispensary managers must complete four hours of continuing education on the industry per year.
• No “free” or “donated” products, which includes a prohibition on promotions such as giveaways and coupons.