Oklahomans overwhelmingly authorized a measure final summer time to legalize medical marijuana. Now the therapy is in overwhelming demand.
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) said this week that, as of Monday, it has authorized 146,381 licenses for sufferers to obtain medicinal cannabis, together with 958 licenses granted to caregivers. As well as, the company has authorized 3,397 licenses for growers, 1,605 licenses for dispensaries and 905 licenses for processors.
To place these numbers in a barely completely different perspective: OMMA has enrolled greater than 3.5% of the state’s total inhabitants as sufferers. In response to the Tulsa World, the state’s participation price locations it close to the highest among the many 33 states within the nation which have legalized medical cannabis.
It’s additionally considerably increased than what state officers anticipated for the primary 12 months of this system. After the poll measure was handed final June, the World reported, officers anticipated that roughly 80,000 sufferers can be registered within the opening 12 months.
Karen O’Keefe, the director of state insurance policies for the Marijuana Coverage Mission, advised the newspaper that she believes Oklahoma “has among the many finest medical marijuana packages within the nation by way of sufferers having reduction shortly and not using a bunch of hurdles they and their physicians have to leap by way of.”
“I feel it helped there was a noncompetitive software course of,” O’Keefe stated. “You don’t have the federal government deciding what number of pharmacies can function. For probably the most half, we let the free market determine.”
Oklahoma voters greenlit this system a 12 months in the past after they authorized State Query 788 by a 57%-43% margin. However important disagreements within the legislature adopted, and threatened the breadth of the state’s medical cannabis program. Weeks after the vote, the Oklahoma Board of Well being authorized guidelines that may have forbade the sale of smokable marijuana merchandise at dispensaries, and would have additionally required a licensed pharmacist to be current on the dispensaries.
Proponents of State Query 788 protested, arguing that voters supported the measure with the understanding that smokable pot can be obtainable for prescription. Jason Lowe, a Democrat within the Oklahoma state home, stated that the Division of Well being had “enacted regulation that undermines some of the participated in elections in state historical past and silences the voice of Oklahomans throughout this state.”
The criticism and specter of lawsuits could have been what prompted Mary Fallin, then the state’s Republican governor, to finally signal a revised algorithm that didn’t ban smokable merchandise or require an on-site pharmacist.
The regulation permits Oklahomans aged 18 and older to use for a license with Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority after receiving a notice from their physician; upon approval, sufferers should pay about $100 for the license.