OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Legalizing recreational cannabis will come with sweeping changes to the law.

Along with new tax revenues, additional licensing and criminal justice reform will be implemented if voters chose to say “yes” to SQ 820.

This week, Governor Kevin Stitt issued a special election for March 7, 2023.

“There are a lot of people that we’ve talked to who, you know, want to enjoy some marijuana, like they enjoy a glass of wine,” said Michelle Tilley, campaign organizer for SQ 820.

One of the most profound changes has to do with folks that were convicted of small possessions of marijuana.

In the state question, it would be legal for someone 21 years and older, to possess up to one ounce of weed. They would also be able to grow up to six plants at their home.

The passage of SQ820 would provide an expungement process for people that have been charged with possession of up to one ounce.

“We’re not talking about people who are trafficking drugs here. We’re talking about people that may have a joint on them,” said Tilley, emphasizing that low level crimes would be the focal point of the reform.

Taxes would also be raised for people that buy recreationally.

15% would be added to purchases for adults without a medical cannabis card.

Medical card holders would experience lower taxes, with taxes phasing out altogether over time, said Kyle Davis, cannabis consultant for Climb Collective.

Money from recreational cannabis taxes, which could be in the millions of dollars, would be distributed as follows:

  • 10 percent for cities and counties
  • 10 percent to the state’s court system
  • 30 percent to the state’s General Revenue Fund
  • 30 percent to public schools, intended to help students that are at-risk of dropping out
  • 20 percent to organizations, government or community-based, that provide drug addiction treatment

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Davis said that it is not written into State Question 820, but he can foresee growers needing to label their cannabis products according to each market.

“Perhaps it will be the case that you’ll have to grow a product that is labeled from the outset, seed to sale – starting with a seed. This is a recreational product. This is a medical product,” said Davis, demonstrating the separation of the two marijuana systems.

For those medically licensed companies, there will be an advantage when setting up their recreational licenses.

“The only people that can get – the only businesses – that can get recreational licenses to sell – sell to consumers – are businesses that have been operating for a year,” said the cannabis consultant.

This means that currently established businesses will have a 24 month head-start, according to SQ820.