The Oklahoma Medical Cannabis Movement
by Chip Paul
Several issues are hot buttons now for the Oklahoman Cannabis Trade Association and also Oklahomans For Health. While we have rolled out a regulated medical marijuana program at the state level, there are still many holes in the program that need to be addressed.
Laboratory testing is the biggest hole. SQ788 put regulation of the states medical marijuana program at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). The OSDH has established a department called the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). The OMMA is what regulates our medical marijuana program under laws/statutes establish by SQ788 and in the future established by the Oklahoma State Legislature. As most of you know, the OMMA cut laboratory testing from the final version of their regulation. Lawmakers and the cannabis community both feel this is irresponsible and dangerous, and lawmakers took action with a proposed set of laboratory standards they recommended to the OMMA in mid-October. This measure would require laboratory testing be in place by May of 2019.
Another issue, again touching the OMMA, is the public publication of physicians, growers, and processors office or place of business information. While most retail dispensaries would want their address publicly known (free advertising), growers and processors, in general, do NOT want their addresses known. Publicly publishing these addresses is a major security risk for these establishments. We have suggested to the OMMA the use of a “privacy” box on applications where information could be kept private if the commercial applicant so desired.
As always, we will be watching and guarding SQ788 and the industry it is creating!