Oklahoma Healthcare Marijuana and Patient Protection Act Set to Go Into Impact

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A new law going into impact later this month will safeguard the rights of healthcare marijuana sufferers and establish regulations for the state’s fledgling medicinal cannabis sector. Home Bill 2612, or the Oklahoma Healthcare Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, as the measure is also recognized, will go into impact on Friday, August 30.

Oklahoma lawmakers passed Home Bill 2612 earlier this year to establish regulations right after the medicinal use of cannabis was legalized by voters with the passage of State Query 788 in June 2018. Observed as a compromise in between lawmakers intent on regulating the sector and patient advocates who campaigned for the constitutional amendment initiative, the Healthcare Marijuana and Patient Protection Act has also been referred to as the Unity Bill.

The measure enacts regulations for healthcare marijuana providers such as packaging and labeling needs. The new law also protects patient access by prohibiting strict needs such as a ban on smokable cannabis flower or limits on the quantity of THC in healthcare marijuana goods.

Bill Protects Patients’ Jobs

Home Bill 2612 also has employment protections for healthcare marijuana sufferers, such as a ban on firing an employee or refusing to employ an applicant primarily based “solely on the basis of a constructive test for marijuana elements or metabolites.” Employers would also be prohibited from firing a existing employee primarily based solely on an individual’s status as a valid healthcare marijuana patient.

Employers would nonetheless be permitted to demand personnel or applicants to submit to drug screenings, but personnel and applicants testing constructive for cannabis use would not be topic to sanction if they have obtained a valid patient license to use healthcare marijuana.

There are exceptions to the employment protections in the Healthcare Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, such as for “any job that contains tasks or duties that the employer reasonably believes could influence the security and wellness of the employee performing the activity or other folks.” Federal employers and contractors are also exempted from the law.

Will Adult-Use Pot Be Subsequent for Oklahoma?

Chip Paul is a co-founder of Oklahomans for Wellness, the group accountable for placing State Query 788 on the ballot and campaigning for its passage. He told reporters that whilst he’s been approached to spearhead a campaign to legalize recreational cannabis in Oklahoma, he rather plans to perform to make sure lawmakers remain accurate to the spirit of the constitutional amendment.

“Medical marijuana is right here to remain in Oklahoma, definitely and I consider that we will perform pretty difficult to safeguard the footprint that we’ve constructed,” Paul mentioned.

State Sen. Greg McCortney mentioned he does not think there will be considerably demand for the legalization of recreational marijuana simply because qualifying for a permit to use cannabis medicinally is not hard. Extra than 160,000 sufferers in the state have currently received healthcare marijuana licenses, twice the quantity anticipated by state officials this quickly right after legalization.

“The individuals who would want to make it recreational, I’m guessing they’re currently acquiring their marijuana and so going out and attempting to get the signatures for a ballot initiative, it is a lot of work,” he mentioned. “I would be shocked if they place forth that work, but you under no circumstances know what individuals may possibly do.”



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