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Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Makes Modifications to Program Regulations
The coming months will bring some big changes for the medical marijuana program in Oklahoma. These new regulations will affect consumers, doctors, businesses, and even regulators. By 2020, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will be increasing compliance enforcement and selecting the official seed-to-sale service provider.
Cannabis Business Regulations
Waste Disposal: Medical marijuana businesses are now authorized to destroy root balls, stems, fan leaves, and seeds by open burning, incineration, burying, mulching, composting or any other method approved by the Department of Environmental Quality. Medical marijuana waste is no longer subject to the Uniform Controlled and Dangerous Substances Act.
Reduced Fee For Veterans: Disabled Veterans will receive a reduced medical marijuana application fee of $20.00.
Renewal Applications: The online renewal system will be available starting August 29. Licenses will remain valid and active while the renewal is being processed, even if the renewal processing time goes beyond the expiration date of the license.
Residency Requirements: The Oklahoma residency requirement has also been changed to (1) Oklahoma residency for 2 years preceding date of application; or (2) 5 years of continuous Oklahoma residency during the 25 years preceding date of application. Businesses with commercial licensees who obtained a license prior to enactment of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act will be exempt from the new 2-year or 5-year residency requirements. All other business applicants will be subject to the new residency requirements.
Certificate of Compliance: Cannabis business applicants will also need to provide a certificate of compliance from their respective local governments that certifies the business is compliant with zoning classifications, municipal ordinances, and all applicable safety, electrical, fire, plumbing, waste, construction, and building specification codes.
Sales: Licensed cultivation operations are now authorized l to sell seeds, flowers, or clones to other licensed cultivators. Medical marijuana dispensaries will also be allowed to sell to other licensed dispensaries.
Testing: Cultivators and manufacturers will be required to utilize licensed laboratories to test harvest and product batches no larger than 10 pounds before any sale, transfer, or processing of medical marijuana. Laboratory owners must not have a direct or indirect beneficial ownership interest in any licensed dispensary, grower, or processor. Testing requirements have been expanded to include all medical marijuana.
Medical Marijuana Doctors
Board Certification: OMMA removed the requirement for doctors issuing recommendations for medical marijuana to patients to be board certified.
Patient and Caregiver Application Processing: The OMMA now has 14 business days to review and respond to patient and caregiver applications. Previously the regulation stipulated 14 calendar days.
Authorized Physicians: Podiatrists are now authorized to recommend medical marijuana as long as they are in good standing with the Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners.
60 Day License: The OMMA will create a new short-term, 60-day medical marijuana patient license for Oklahoma patients whose doctor recommendation expires after 60 days.
Sharing Of Information: The OMMA will be required to share information displayed on medical marijuana licenses with the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. The implementation timeline for this process is yet to be determined by the OMMA.
Application Processing: The OMMA will now have 90 days to review medical marijuana business applications.
Schools: The law also redefines schools to include preschools for the purposes of the 1,000 feet requirement for dispensaries. “School” does not include a homeschool, daycare, or childcare facility.
Seed-to-Sale: The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will require the implementation of an electronic seed-to-sale inventory tracking system that tracks the entire life-cycle of medical marijuana. Licensed business will need to integrate their dispensary point-of-sale software with the seed-to-sale tracking system established by OMMA. The state is currently evaluating different systems and plan to announce the official seed-to-sale service provider in early 2020.
New Cannabis Licenses
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will also be responsible for creating six new license categories:
- Transporter ($2,500)—Standalone transportation licenses will be made available for the distribution and storage of medical marijuana.
- Transporter Agent ($100)—Required for any agents, employees, officers, or owners of a transporter license holder in order to transport medical marijuana.
- Testing Laboratory ($2,500)—Licenses a laboratory to perform testing on medical marijuana. These licenses should be available for labs by early 2020.
- Education Facility ($500)—Licenses a nonprofit entity to educate and train individuals involved in the growing, processing, packaging, and testing of medical marijuana. This license will be available by early 2020.
- Short-Term Patient — A sixty (60) day license to be issued to any patient applicant who meets the requirements for a two (2) year license but whose physician recommendation is only valid for sixty (60) days. Fee will be set by the Department during the rules promulgation process.
- Waste Facility — Starting in November waste facility licenses and permits will be added as new license category. The facilities would specialize in cannabis waste disposal and reduce the environmental impact.