Gov. Mary Fallin signs controversial emergency rules for medical marijuana

OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor Mary Fallin signed the emergency rules for medical marijuana Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Board of Health approved emergency rules drafted by the Oklahoma State Department of Health two weeks after Oklahomans voted to approve State Question 788 legalizing medical marijuana.

Under the new emergency rules, smokeable forms of medical marijuana would be banned from sale in dispensaries. According to Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates, licensed medical marijuana users would still be allowed to use it if it was grown themselves.

The board also approved an amendment which would require pharmacists to be on site at dispensaries.

Under the new rules, adults who wish to be licensed must be recommended by one board certified physician. Minors would need recommendations from two board certified physicians.

Commercial licenses for growers and processors would be $2,500. The applicant cannot have a felony within the past five years, OSDH general counsel Julie Ezell said. The board also approved certain provisions on edibles.

The emergency rules also state "a single serving of a medical marijuana product processed or dispensed shall not exceed ten (10) milligrams active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Medical marijuana products and Medical Marijuana Concentrate processed or dispensed shall have a THC content of not more than twelve percent (12%). Mature marijuana plants shall have a THC content of not more than twenty percent (20%)."

Fallin issued a statement after signing the rules saying:

“These rules are the best place to start in developing a proper regulatory framework for medical marijuana, with the highest priority given to the health and safety of Oklahomans. They are also the quickest and most cost-efficient way to get the process actually started as required by the law passed by the people. I expect modifications could occur in the future. I know some citizens are not pleased with these actions. But I encourage everyone to approach this effort in a constructive fashion in order to honor the will of the citizens of Oklahoma who want a balanced and responsible medical marijuana law. The state question placed an accelerated implementation period upon the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which is required to start the application process by July 26 – just two weeks away. The Health Department has been working with 17 other agencies the past three months on crafting these emergency rules. Asking the Legislature to pass comprehensive legislation in a special session is not realistic.

Dealing with medical marijuana is unchartered territory for our state, and there are many opinions, including divisive views even among SQ 788 backers, on how this should be implemented. Discussions have been going on the past few months in and outside the Capitol with no clear-cut agreement. I appreciate the hard work of Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates and his staff, who take seriously their responsibility to protect the health and safety of all Oklahomans.”

For a full copy of the rules, click here.