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Cannabis proponents threaten legal action against state

OKLAHOMA CITY - The reaction to the emergency rules approved by the State Department of Health Board on Tuesday has been swift and fierce with several groups threatening legal action.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association and Oklahomans for Health, the group behind State Question 788, held a joint press conference saying they felt blind-sided by the rules that were passed.

“Are these people really not that smart? We were outspent a thousand to one in this campaign. I mean, a thousand to one. This is a we-the-people thing,” said Chip Paul with Oklahomans For Health.

Paul wrote State Question 788 and says the rules that were passed do not reflect the spirit of what more than 500,000 Oklahomans voted for.

“I think everybody in the state realizes we got screwed yesterday,” said Paul.

Specifically, they are upset over the limits to THC, the requirement to have a pharmacist in dispensaries, but most of all, the ban on smokeable marijuana.

“Right now, people are dying because of the decisions they made yesterday. And the longer they hold their ground, the longer they hold this up, the more people die,” said Chris Moe with the Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association.

“If I didn’t smoke, I would not be here today. So smoking, to take that out is a non-starter, no way we can afford to do that,” said Ray Jennings, a member of Oklahomans for Health and a stage four cancer survivor.

Jennings could not keep food down during his cancer treatments so edibles were not an option.

He went to Colorado for his smokeable marijuana.

“It’s all the pain and suffering that you’re going through at that moment. It’s horrific. If those people that sat in that board and passed judgement on us yesterday had to experience that, I believe they would have a different opinion today,” said Jennings.

The Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association also weighed in on how these regulations will affect those trying to get into this business.

“Everyone’s in limbo because there’s so many unknowns. You know investors are scared to invest now. We don’t know how to proceed,” said Megan Dedmon, owner of Wild Woman Wellness in Yukon.

These groups say the emergency rules may be in place but the fight is far from over.

“We’ve worked very hard to get this on the books the way that we wanted it on the books. We’re not going to be regulated out of existence here. No way in heck,” said Paul.

The group says they will take legal action if they have to, but they don’t want to go down that route so that patients can at least have edibles while they work out the other details.

They also do not want to have a special legislative session.

They are hopeful they can work things out with the State Department of Health.