Recently, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority released their latest figures revealing that more than 200,000 medical marijuana licenses have been issued to patients since last August. It’s been a prolific beginning for Oklahoma medical marijuana industry even with the complications of evolving regulatory changes.
Considering that every patient medical marijuana application that is approved is subject to a $100 application fee, it’s clear the state is also reaping the benefits of a booming market. State Question 788 mandates that applicants must be 18 years or older and acquire a recommendation from their doctor before applying for a license with the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
So far the application fees for patients have generated over $15 million for the state. Commercial businesses including cultivators, processors and dispensaries have also had to pay licensing fees that total over $20 million. The licenses that are issued are only valid for one year so renewal fees will generating recurring revenue that will stimulate the state economy.
Recently, the OMMA enacted some new regulations that have presented challenges for medical marijuana dispensaries across the state. The new rules implemented seed-to-sale tracking reporting, that requires all dispensaries to submit reports on the 15th of every month. However, the state has yet to select a seed-to-sale tracking software that can automate this process.
States that have more mature marijuana markets, like California, Colorado, and Oregon use Metrc to report their inventory and sales numbers to the state. This makes it easy for cannabis retailers to use their dispensary POS system to automate reporting via Metrc integration. Currently Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensaries are forced to export their reports and submit them through the state’s OMMA online portal.
Additionally, there are new rules that will require product testing for all medical marijuana products, even though there are currently no licensed testing facilities. As a new link in the supply chain, testing labs could slow down distribution to local dispensaries but hopefully the transition will be painless.
Physicians are also no longer allowed to issue recommendations to patients on-site at a medical marijuana dispensary. Officials just fear that having these businesses in close proximity could cause issues in the future. One of the biggest wins for medical marijuana retailers is the statute preventing local towns from barring medical cannabis businesses.