State lawmakers and cannabis activists are pushing back against restrictions placed on Oklahoma’s fledgling medical marijuana program. Voters legalized the use of medicinal cannabis with the passage of State Question 788 (SQ 788) by a margin of 57-43 percent on June 26.
On Sunday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health released emergency rules to govern the program. On Tuesday, the State Board of Health approved those rules, but not before adding two notable restrictions.
No Smokable Cannabis
Under the regulations, dispensaries will not be allowed to sell smokable forms of cannabis. Another provision would require dispensaries to have a pharmacist on site. Those restrictions are in line with recommendations made by the Oklahoma State Medical Association. The president of that group, Jean Hausheer, has said she believes that voters did not understand SQ 788.
Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates told local media that allowing the sale of smokable cannabis would be contrary to the board’s mission.
“To allow smokable forms would be a step back as protectors of public health in Oklahoma and certainly reasonable people can differ on that,” he said.
Bates added that registered medical marijuana patients will be able to smoke cannabis if they grow it themselves.