Oklahoma State Department of Health working to implement medical marijuana measure

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Department of Health says it is making preparations after voters approved a state question to legalize medical marijuana.

On Tuesday, voters across the state approved State Question 788.

Under the state question, a person 18 years or older would need to apply for a medical marijuana license with the Oklahoma State Department of Health after receiving a note from their doctor. If approved, the patient would then have to pay $100 to obtain that license.

Patients would be allowed to legally possess up to 3 ounces of the drug on them, six mature plants and six seedlings. They could also possess one ounce of concentrated marijuana, 72 ounces of edible marijuana and 8 ounces of marijuana in their home. At this time, there are no qualifying conditions and it would be taxed at 7 percent for all marijuana sales.

Those caught with up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana who “can state a medical condition, but not in possession of a state issued medical marijuana license” could face a misdemeanor charge and a fine not to exceed $400.

Supporters work to gather signatures for medical marijuana petition in 2014.

After voters approved the state question, the health department announced that it has gone to work figuring out the best way to implement the measure.

“The Oklahoma State Department of Health has worked for the past three months to develop a framework for implementing the requirements of SQ 788. Now that Oklahoma voters have approved the measure, OSDH is confident that we are ready to meet those requirements by the specified time and that the process will be handled with integrity.

Emergency rules governing the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will be considered by the Oklahoma State Board of Health at their July 10 meeting. Application information and requirements will be available by July 26 for all of the defined categories and the agency will begin accepting applications no later than August 25,” a statement from the health department read.

Health department officials say people should not come to any county health department or the agency on Wednesday to apply for a license.

“Please do not visit the state or county health department offices with questions relating to medical marijuana. We are still working with limited staff who deliver clinical and other services across the state,” said OSDH Interim Commissioner Tom Bates. “All relevant information and instructions will be provided online.”

Oklahoma State Department of Health

Officials say the application process will be available at the required time, and will be enhanced in the coming months to make it more efficient.

“It may take some time to fully implement all of the steps recommended in preparation for this new program, but we will continue to work to meet the letter of the law and to protect the health and safety of all Oklahomans,” the statement read.

The health department has created a phone number that provides pre-recorded information regarding State Question 788 at (405) 271-2266.