The growth and expansion of medical marijuana in Oklahoma hit a key milestone this week. For the first time ever, a marijuana plant has been sold legally in the Sooner State. This is an important step forward as the state continues figuring out the details of its brand new medical cannabis program.
Oklahoma’s New Medical Marijuana Program
It’s been a big year for marijuana in Oklahoma. In June, voters in the state approved the legalization of cannabis for medical uses. State Question 788 won 56 percent of the vote. On the other side, 43 percent of voters opposed the measure.
Almost immediately, the state’s new program fell into chaos. Shortly after the vote, a group of doctors began advocating for the ban of smokable forms of cannabis. Subsequently, the Oklahoma State Board of Health began trying to fast-tracking and push through a number of restrictions to the state’s new medical marijuana laws.
Most notably, these restrictions attempted to ban the sale of smokable forms of medical cannabis. Additionally, the Board tried to require all dispensaries to have a pharmacist on site at all times.
These restrictions came under fire and the state found itself facing at least two separate lawsuits. Ultimately, things were solved when Governor Mary Fallin approved and signed a set of revised regulations in August. Importantly, the version of the law signed by Gov. Fallin got rid of many of the restrictions implemented by the Board of Health.
And now, it looks like the Sooner State has achieved its next big milestone. Under the state’s new medical marijuana laws, patients are allowed to have as many as six cannabis seedlings at a time. Additionally, patients can also have up to six adults plants at any one time.
This week, a military veteran became the first Oklahoman to buy a legal marijuana plant. As reported by local news sources, John Frasure bought a cannabis seedling at a dispensary located in Fairfax, Oklahoma.
Frasure said he uses medical cannabis to treat PTSD and other ongoing health conditions.
Is Oklahoma Moving Toward Full Legalization?
While medical marijuana appears to be marching forward in Oklahoma, it’s a different story when it comes to recreational weed. Interestingly, the recreational side of things have been almost equally dramatic this year as it’s been with medical cannabis.
In fact, at one point it looked like voters might see a recreational bill on the ballot this November. Throughout the year, cannabis activists have been trying to get enough petition signatures to get a legalization bill on the ballot.
And in August, a group called Green the Vote said they had gathered enough signatures. Unfortunately for the cannabis community, it turns out the group was inflating its numbers.
Instead of surpassing the required 123,724 signatures, the petition had somewhere around 73,000-78,000 signatures. Representatives from Green the Vote apologized for the inflated reports and continued trying to get more signatures.
Ultimately, the group failed to gather enough signatures before the deadline. As a result, the state will not introduce a recreational bill to the ballot this fall.
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Author: Nick Lindsey