August 09, 2018, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has ratified the revised regulations for the state’s nascent medical marijuana program. A number of restrictive provisions have been excluded from the revised emergency rules. The regulations are intended to govern the implementation of MMJ initiative. Oklahomans approved medical marijuana initiative through the public ballot in the last week of June. Fallin has labeled the regulatory framework of a basic nature, which has been worked out by keeping in mind the safety and health of the state residents.
It is worth mentioning that some last-minute contentious amendments were made to the bill. The amendments would have banned the consumption of cannabis through smoking. In addition, it would have become obligatory for MMJ outlets to hire an onsite licensed pharmacist. These propositions were put forward by the state’s medical association and the governor also approved them at first.
However, after a strong backlash from the public, activists, and businesses, the governor instructed the medical board to exclude these last-minute changes from the bill. She has admitted that the amendments were finished in a hustle and people were not given enough time to read and review them. In addition, attorney general of the state also advised the government to enforce the original regulations that were in line with the statutory language of the initiative passed by the voters.
The medical board also recommended making pregnancy test necessary for women to get their MMJ cards. Thankfully, this regressive provision is also not part of provisional regulations anymore. Even though the attorney general Mike Hunter doesn’t support the MMJ initiative, but he came in full force to support the decision made by the electorate. He informed the governor’s office that the state board was overstepping its jurisdiction.
Of all the restrictive provisions excluded from the emergency regulations, masses were most bothered about the ban on smokable cannabis. Consuming cannabis through blunts is the cheapest form of administrating the strain for its therapeutic benefits. Cannabis oils and extracts with commercial manufacturing and packaging come expensive. On the other hand, only dried cannabis flower is needed for smokable consumption, making it a lot easier for patients to do well out of MMJ legalization. Lifting the ban from cannabis smoking will, therefore, make Oklahoma’s budding medical marijuana program more accessible to the patients.
With the governor’s ratification of the provisional regulations, the state’s marijuana program will finally set off. However, the permanent regulatory framework is yet to be worked out by the state legislature. With the predicament that surrounded the emergency rules, the lawmakers would have a fair idea on what approach should be taken to devise a regulatory bill that should not collide with the quintessence of the voter-passed initiative. A bipartisan legislative committee is meeting every week to devise regulations with which every stakeholder can agree. Gov. Fallin is also of the belief that the success and viability of the state’s MMJ program majorly depend on the regulations which will eventually be used to govern it in a long run.