OKLAHOMA CITY – Investors in Oklahoma’s medical cannabis industry gathered at the State Capitol on Thursday (July 5) to urge lawmakers and Governor Mary Fallin to call a special legislative session to address the successful implementation of State Question 788, which voters approved in balloting that concluded on June 26.
Members of New Health Solutions Oklahoma (NHSO), the trade group for the medical cannabis industry, said that the language in the recently passed ballot measure was insufficient to stand up an orderly market, leaving Oklahomans with a tremendous amount of uncertainty.
“There are a lot of questions left unanswered about how Oklahoma is going to implement a medical cannabis program,” said NHSO Executive Director Bud Scott. “From a medical perspective, that creates a lot of uncertainty for patients, some of whom are very sick and need to be able to get this product quickly and legally. It creates enormous uncertainty for cannabis-related businesses that are trying to figure out what the ground rules are going to be in Oklahoma. Outside of the industry, it’s also confusing for employers, cities and counties, and the law enforcement community. All of these groups are looking to our elected officials for answers.”
Scott said the only way to eliminate this confusion is through a special legislative session.
“The Oklahoma State Department of Health does not have the capability or the legal authority to make all of these important decisions by itself,” said Scott. “Our lawmakers must show some leadership, do their jobs, and legislate. They can’t hide from this issue. The people of Oklahoma made the choice to legalize medical cannabis, and they did so under the assumption that our elected officials would act quickly to create fair rules and regulations. Waiting for problems to arise and correcting them next year, as some politicians have suggested, is not a responsible way to govern.”
NHSO members are circulating a four page memo among lawmakers, outlining specific issues that the industry is pushing to address through legislation in a special session.
A copy of the memo was posted online.