The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) is taking steps to implement statutory changes made during the 2019 legislative session, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
The following is for educational purposes only, does not contain complete details, and is not legal advice. If you need a commercial medical marijuana license, compliance auditing, or representation in the Oklahoma medical marijuana field, call the Cale Law Office at 918-771-7314. Or contact us through the web.
THE CHANGE PROCESS
Changes will be implemented through a series, or ‘flights,’ of emergency rule promulgation activities in August and November 2019. That will be followed by permanent rule promulgation activities occurring in 2020, Cale said. As part of the process, there will be an opportunity for public comment as set forth in the Administrative Procedures Act.
“OMMA has reinstituted a project management structure to ensure compliance and timely implementation of the changes,” said Tom Bates, Interim Commissioner of Health. “Implementation activities will include rule promulgation, procurements, information technology changes, application developments, and operational planning.”
A large portion of the legal changes stems from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, found in House Bill 2612. This bill has commonly been referred to as the “Unity Bill,” said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
SOME LEGISLATIVE CHANGES CURRENTLY IN EFFECT
Effective May 7, 2019, SB 162 removed the requirement for physicians issuing recommendations to patients for medical marijuana to be board certified. This change aligns with language in HB 2612.
Patient And Caregiver Application Processing
Also effective May 7, 2019, SB 162 gave OMMA 14 business days to review and provide a response on patient and caregiver applications. This changes the previous requirement of 14 calendar days.
Effective May 9, 2019, Section 3 of SB 882 authorizes businesses to destroy root balls, stems, fan leaves, and seeds through open burning, incineration, burying, mulching, composting or any other technique approved by the Department of Environmental Quality.
SB 882 also provides that medical marijuana waste shall not be subject to the provisions of the Uniform Controlled and Dangerous Substances Act.
For more on the new waste disposal law, see PARTS OF NEW OKLAHOMA MEDICAL MARIJUANA WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT GO INTO EFFECT|CONSTITUTIONALITY QUESTIONED
OTHER LAWS TAKING EFFECT LATE AUGUST
Other laws take effect 90 days after the state Legislature adjourned, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale. This year, the Legislature adjourned on May 23rd. So, that means the following laws should take effect on August 21st.
Patients And Medical Professionals
- HB 2613 amends HB 2612 to authorize physicians licensed by and in good standing with the Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners to recommend medical marijuana.
- HB 2601 creates a new short-term, 60-day medical marijuana patient license for Oklahoma patients whose physician recommendation is only valid for 60 days.
- SB 1030 requires the OMMA to share information displayed on medical marijuana licenses with the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. The OMMA is evaluating implementation timelines for this data infrastructure.
- HB 2612 sets a reduced application fee of $20.00 for 100% disabled veterans.
Business Applications And Renewals
- Application Processing – HB 2601 and HB 2612 extend the timeline for review of business applications to 90 business days.
- 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, according to the State Health Department.
- Residency Requirements – HB 2612 changes Oklahoma residency to mean (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.
- Pursuant to HB 2601, commercial licensees who were issued a license prior to the enactment of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act (HB 2612) are exempt from the new 2-year or 5-year residency requirements. However, all other business applicants will be subject to the new residency requirements set forth in HB 2612.
- Certificate of Compliance – SB 1030 requires all business applicants to provide a certificate of compliance from relevant local government(s) that certifies the applicant is compliant with zoning classifications, municipal ordinances, and all applicable safety, electrical, fire, plumbing, waste, construction, and building specification codes.
- Schools – HB 2612 defines “school” to include preschools for the purposes of the 1,000 feet requirement for dispensaries. “School” does not include a homeschool, daycare, or childcare facility.
- Sales – HB 2612 authorizes licensed growers to sell seeds, flowers, or clones to other licensed growers. It also authorizes licensed dispensaries to sell to other licensed dispensaries.
- Seed-to-Sale – HB 2612 requires the implementation of an electronic seed-to-sale inventory tracking system that will track the entire life-cycle of medical marijuana and requires business licensees to integrate their seed-to-sale tracking system with the seed-to-sale tracking system established by OMMA. Procurement of this system is following state agency procurement requirements prescribed by law, with an anticipated award in early 2020, according to the State Health Department.
- Testing – HB 2612 and SB 162 require growers and processors to utilize licensed laboratories to test harvest and product batches that are no greater than 10 pounds before any sale, transfer, or processing of medical marijuana. Owners of laboratories cannot have a direct or indirect beneficial ownership interest in any licensed dispensary, grower, or processor. Testing requirements are expanded to encompass all medical marijuana.
- Packaging/labeling – HB 2612 and HB 2601 add packaging and labeling requirements.
- Compliance – HB 2612 broadens OMMA inspection authority to include all commercial license types and authorizes inspections twice a year with prior notice and additional inspections when necessary due to violations.
New License Categories
Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale said that HB 2612 and SB 162 create five new license categories. Some of the licenses were part of SQ788.
- Transporter ($2,500) — In addition to the license granted to growers, processors, and dispensaries upon issuance of a license, standalone transportation licenses will be made available for the distribution and storage of medical marijuana. For more information, see NEW LAW ADDS MANDATES FOR OKLAHOMA MEDICAL MARIJUANA TRANSPORTERS, BUSINESSES| WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Transporter Agent ($100) —Required for any agents, employees, officers, or owners of a transporter license holder in order to transport medical marijuana. For more information, see NEW LAW CREATES OKLAHOMA MEDICAL MARIJUANA TRANSPORTER AGENT LICENSE | WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Testing Laboratory ($2,500) — Licenses a laboratory to perform testing on medical marijuana. This license is anticipated to be available by early 2020, according to the OMMA. For more information, see NEW OKLAHOMA MEDICAL MARIJUANA TESTING LAB LICENSE COMING IN AUGUST | PART 1
- Education Facility ($500) — Licenses a nonprofit entity to provide training and education to individuals involved in the growing, processing, packaging, and testing of medical marijuana. This license is anticipated to be available by early 2020, according to the OMMA.
- 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. The fee will be set by the Department during the rules promulgation process.
LEGISLATIVE CHANGES EFFECTIVE NOV. 1ST
- SB 882 establishes waste facility licenses and permits as a new license category.
WORKING WITH THE CALE LAW OFFICE
The Cale Law Office is dedicated to the practice of criminal defense and medical marijuana law. Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive representation. This is done while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards.
Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale is a Legal Committee member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He’s not new to cannabis law. He has been serving people with legal needs for 20 years.