How Will Proposed Oklahoma Marijuana Laws Affect Patients?

Oklahoma marijuana laws
By Andrew Ward Updated March 8th

Fact-checked by Deb Tharp

Changes may be on the way for Oklahoma marijuana laws in 2022.  While the proposed updates to Oklahoma's cannabis regulations could be substantial, medical patients likely won't have to fret over access or other critical parameters. 

Currently, obtaining a medical card in Oklahoma is relatively easy. But growing pains are expected as nascent programs take shape. And Oklahoma lawmakers haven't been idle. The 2022 Oklahoma Legislative Session has seen more than 80 bills filed concerning the medical market. On March 4, lawmakers discussed 15 cannabis-focused bills during a single committee meeting. Any bill adopted could shape the medical market, ranging from curbing illicit sales to refining the licensing process. 

Oklahoma marijuana laws

Do Medical Cannabis Patients Need to Worry?

While the final text of the proposed legislation could change, it doesn’t appear as though medical cannabis patients have cause to worry. 

Rather than targeting patients, most of the currently proposed bills aim to address the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the body overseeing the state's program. Most of the efforts center on enhancing OMMA's regulations, mainly around product and community safety:

  • Improved product quality
  • Minimizing harmful impacts on the environment and communities
  • Improved understanding and rules for a market known to some as the "wild west of weed"

Let's look at some of the leading proposed Oklahoma cannabis laws being discussed this year.

Bills to Support the OMMA

The OMMA oversees Oklahoma's medical cannabis laws and regulations. Their scope of enforcement includes all market aspects, from Oklahoma medical card access to product safety. In short, every person, patient or operator, falls under OMMA's authority. 

Some of the leading bills that could impact how Oklahoma and the OMMA operate include:

  • HB3971 - Oklahoma marijuana laws could soon allow secret shoppers to enter dispensaries, purchase products and send them off for lab testing. If approved, the effort may be the next step in addressing the ongoing concern around mislabeled products regarding potency and contaminants.
  • HB3813 - Attempting to update language regarding the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, OMMA inspectors would be designated as law enforcement, allowing them to further partake in enforcing and prosecuting violators. 
  • HB4411 - OMMA would have to conduct at least one yearly inspection for every cannabis location. 
  • HB3208 - New license applications would halt for two years or until OMMA can complete the backlog of ongoing license reviews, inspections and investigations. 
  • HB4055 - Licensed growers would be required to submit monthly reports on commodity usage. Public utility companies would provide the OMMA data regarding cultivator electricity, water, and other utilities.

Bills to Restructure Cannabis Business Licensing in Oklahoma

Change is expected in the developing cannabis space. If implemented and enforced correctly, proposed legislation will help improve the state's program. Some include:

  • HB3634 - Would establish a wholesaler licensing tier, covering sales and distribution channels. 
  • HB3734 - New cannabis businesses would be required to obtain a temporary conditional license before receiving their yearly permit. To be approved for a provisional license, applicants must include all relevant financial data, utility usage sources, and proof of insurance.
  • HB3891 - Would add cultivation and processing facilities to the list of businesses banned near school zones, prohibiting operators from being within 1,000 feet of school property lines. The rule would cover all schools, stadiums and ballparks used by schools. 

Bills to Change How Medical Cannabis Businesses Are Regulated

Several laws introduced aim to improve workplace safety and reduce the environmental impact of cannabis operations. 

  • HB4287 - All cannabis processors and growers must sell flower in pre-packaged containers, ranging from an eighth to an ounce in size. "The bill would also eliminate Deli-style" sales.
  • HB3752 - Grow operations would not be legally allowed to abandon a property until restoring the land to its original state.
  • HB2025 - All cannabis operations and facilities would have to display their OMMA license in a clear place.
  • HB3827 - All outdoor medical grow licensees would have to register with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, listing as an environmentally sensitive crop owner. 

Other 2022 Oklahoma Cannabis Bills to Watch

The above bills are just a handful of those currently under consideration in Oklahoma.  Oklahoma recreational cannabis could become a reality thanks to HB3754. In other important news, SB1101 could increase taxes by excluding processing, harvesting, and growing of cannabis from the state’s agricultural sales tax exemption. And both HB2987 and HB2989 could pose significant hurdles for new cannabis facilities. 
With so much going on in The Sooner State, cannabis proponents and current medical marijuana patients can keep up to date with our exploration of Oklahoma Laws & Regulations.

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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