Policy Recommendations Oklahoma

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations for Oklahoma

Oklahoma has quickly organized an operational medical access program since the 2018 voter approval of Question 788, the state ballot initiative authorizing the creation of a state-operated medical cannabis policy framework. By May of 2020, Oklahoma had issued 2,428 dispensary licenses, 6346 grower licences, and 1,611 processor licences, which have been instrumental in forming the medical cannabis industry backbone required to provide functional patient access. Though not all of these licenses are currently operational, the ratio of one licensed dispensary for every 116 patients produced by this configuration is an excellent monitor for overall patient accessibility which patients in other states are left to envy.47 Patients in Oklahoma now represent 8.33 percent of Oklahoma's population, the most significant representation of registered cannabis patients of any state.

Beyond making significant progress on medical cannabis industry buildout and patient enrollment, Oklahoma has also improved laboratory testing requirements. As of April of 2020, all cannabis products cultivated or processed must be tested by a state-licensed laboratory per legislation approved in 2019 and 2020 Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority guidance. OMMA also demonstrated a commitment to ensuring product safety when the regulatory body began recalling products deemed unsafe for patient use.

Oklahoma also moved quickly to maintain and improve access for medical cannabis patients and keep them safe during the COVID pandemic. Key measures organized in 2020 included a declaration of medical cannabis dispensaries as essential, authorization of curbside pickup and delivery of cannabis medicine to patients and allowing patients to utilize telehealth for physician evaluations required for patient re-enrollment. As state lawmakers and regulators look to 2021, ASA recommends permanently maintaining these measures.