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‘Unity proposal’ recommendations approved by medical marijuana working group

OKLAHOMA CITY — A legislative working group has approved recommendations to create legislative language to implement medical marijuana.

The recommendations were discussed Wednesday morning during the group’s 13th meeting since Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788 in June to legalize medical marijuana.

Group co-chair Sen. Greg McCortney, R-Ada said the recommendations, which are in what is being called the “unity proposal”, cover a wide range of topics including testing, licensing, and labeling.

“I very much believe that there will be more testing facilities than we probably even need to pop up very quickly now that we have regulations that require testing,” Sen. McCortney said. “I believe that just like every other part of this, the market will bear what the market can bear and anyone who wants to be a laboratory is free to enter the market at this point and they know the rules of the game.”

At least 10 amendments were approved at the conclusion of Wednesday’s meeting.

The proposal has been described as a cooperative effort between the working group and medical marijuana advocates.

“Our entire proposal since day 1 has been, we want to allow for as many laboratory options as possible because what we’ve seen in other states is a lack of actual labs so there’s usual only a handful and that makes price go up and also makes the possibility of people falsifying test results much higher,” Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Association executive director Bud Scott said. “The more labs we have participating, the better in our book. We want to make sure the regulation of the legislation stay that way.”

The amended proposal now goes to the House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City.

“They’re very dedicated to making sure the will of the people is followed. They see this bill as implementing the will of the people and so, I’m very optimistic they’re going to move this forward and probably move it forward very quickly,” McCortney said. “There will definitely be more marijuana bills this year. As the author of, I believe 12 of them, I can promise this is not the last marijuana bill of the year. It’s the biggest one, though.”

Sen. Treat released this statement Wednesday regarding the proposal:

“I would like to thank all the members, both in the Senate and House, of the medical marijuana working group who have so diligently worked these past few months. The original purpose of this working group was to ensure that State Question 788 would be implemented in the most efficient and responsible way possible. After the conclusion of today’s meeting, I believe it is clear that the original intent and goal of this working group has been accomplished. State Question 788 will be implemented as intended by the people of Oklahoma.”

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