New medical marijuana rules adopted

The Associated Press - August 2, 2018 9:16 am

Oklahoma health officials on Wednesday adopted new guidelines for the use of medical marijuana in the state after earlier rules hastily adopted last month came under harsh criticism from the attorney general and medical marijuana advocates.

The state Board of Health voted unanimously to adopt new rules that amend or entirely revoke the previous guidelines, including eliminating a ban on the sale of smokable pot and requirements that a pharmacist be in every dispensary and that women of “childbearing age” undergo a pregnancy test.

The board unexpectedly approved the rules during an emergency meeting on July 10 despite a warning from its own attorney. Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed them into law the next day.

Fallin’s communication secretary, Michael McNutt, said the governor wants to review the new guidelines with her legal staff and has 45 days to accept or reject them.

The original rules approved by the board earlier this month prompted outrage from medical marijuana supporters who said they were far too restrictive.

Two marijuana advocacy groups filed lawsuits challenging the rules, and Hunter said the board had overstepped its authority. Board members on Wednesday met behind closed doors with a representative of Hunter’s office for almost one hour to discuss the lawsuits but took no action when they reconvened their public meeting.

Health officials said applications for marijuana-related businesses became available last week and that they plan to begin accepting applications no later than Aug. 25.

 

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