On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, Oklahoma residents voted to approve a bill (SQ 788) that allows for the physician-recommended use of medical marijuana.
This is of course great news for the thousands of individuals in the state suffering from a marijuana-treatable condition (such as pain, anxiety, PTSD, etc), as quick and easy access to high-quality medicinal cannabis is now a very real possibility.
In fact, the medical marijuana program in Oklahoma has progressed at lightning-fast speeds since the passing of SQ 788 back in June 2018, with tens of thousands of approved patients and hundreds of dispensaries now in full operation in the state.
DID YOU KNOW: Patients can now apply for medical marijuana in Oklahoma and purchase products before they even receive their MMJ identification?
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about how to get medical marijuana in Oklahoma: from the application process, to the doctor recommendation forms, to the required fees, you’ll find everything you need right here in this simple guide.
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Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma: The Fastest-Moving MMJ Program in the U.S.?
If you were one of the thousands of Oklahoma residents that jumped for joy when medical marijuana was legalized back in June 2018, you have likely been blown away by the speed with which the program has progressed.
There are now 33 U.S. states plus D.C. that offer some sort of legal medical marijuana program, and historically, it has taken about two years for them to go from newly-passed legislation to actually having a full, operational MMJ program up-and-running.
With Oklahoma, the process has taken less than six months; SQ 788 was passed in June 2018, and by November of that year, qualified patients were already growing 100% legal cannabis plants in the comfort of their own homes.
Moreover, as of early 2019 there are well over 20,000 approved MMJ patients and nearly 2,000 businesses that have been approved for legal operation in the state. In other words, the speed with which the Oklahoma medical marijuana program has progressed has been truly unprecedented.
Applications (which can be accessed at omma.ok.gov) became available online on July 26, 2018, and were already starting to be processed by August 25. Many thought that because of federal restrictions on the sale and transfer of cannabis between states, it would take a long time for actual marijuana products to become available in state-licensed dispensaries. Fortunately for Oklahoma medical marijuana patients, that has hardly been the case.
| Since SQ 788 passed by 57% of the vote in June 2018, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Program has moved with lightning-like progress and efficiency.
Even by conservative estimates, most estimated it would have been at least 9-12 months before medical marijuana products were available for sale in the state. Why does it usually take so long, you might be wondering?
Well, establishing and building a medical marijuana program that abides by all federal rules and regulations is not easy – nor is it quick. Oklahoma became the 30th state to implement a medical marijuana program, and nearly every one of the 29 states before it went through very lengthy processes in terms of making the transition from an approved bill to an actual up-and-running MMJ program.
“You have to get the seeds [first],” said Chance Gilbert, founder of the Oklahoma Cannabis & Hemp Trade Association. “[Then] they have to be certified. You have to have paperwork for them so you can track the lineage. All of this is extremely arduous and scientific.”
Indeed, going from a seed to a mature, harvestable plant can take around three-and-a-half months, and this is not including the myriad of legal paperwork that has to be completed beforehand.
And since Oklahoma borders Colorado – one of the most “accessible” states in terms of medical marijuana – many had assumed that they would simply be able to travel across state lines and purchase marijuana there, then bring it back to Oklahoma with their “legal” medical marijuana card. Fortunately, that hasn’t had to be the case.
Moreover, the speed with which the medical marijuana program in Oklahoma has progressed has been even more shocking considering the fact that all medical marijuana products sold in Oklahoma must be planted, cultivated, harvested, and then distributed to licensed dispensaries for in-state resale to MMJ patients.
Also, it had looked for all the world like SQ 788 was going to hit a roadblock in the form of Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin, who issued a press release almost immediately after the bill’s passing that stated her dissatisfaction with the “terms” of the legislation.
Fortunately, state officials decided not to meet in a special legislative session that would’ve amended (or even disbanded) the initial language of the bill. For these reasons, Oklahoma’s very liberal medical marijuana program has gone from an unlikely event to a full-on up and running program in the course of a little more than six months.
We will shortly discuss how to get a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma, but first, let’s take a look at some of the hurdles the program has had to overcome before it was able to reach the pace it’s moving at today.
Many Thought Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma Would Get Shut Down Before it Even Started
While it’s unlikely that Governor Fallin would have vetoed Oklahoma’s medical marijuana bill entirely, it did appear likely she was going to call a special session in order to amend some of the bill’s “legal language,” which was surprisingly liberal (according to Forbes Magazine, it allows doctors to be able to recommend medical marijuana for virtually “any medical condition they see fit”).
In fact, immediately after the bill passed, Governor Fallin issued the following Press Release:
“…As I mentioned in previous public comments, I believe, as well as many Oklahomans, this new law is written so loosely that it opens the door for basically recreational marijuana. I will be discussing with legislative leaders and state agencies our options going forward on how best to proceed with adding a medical and proper regulatory framework to make sure marijuana use is truly for valid medical illnesses.”
So again, while it is great news that voters finally passed legislation for the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma, it is even more exciting that implementation of the program has moved so swiftly, with both the application and dispensary programs operating in full swing.
Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma: What is Allowed?
As we just mentioned, the Oklahoma marijuana bill in its current form is really pretty “generous,” to say the very least. For example, residents who qualify for medical marijuana use and receive a state medical marijuana card are able to:
- Possess up to 3 oz of cannabis in public
- Store up to 8 oz of cannabis at home
- Grow up to six mature plants in their private residence (in addition to six seedlings)
- Possess up to 1 oz of cannabis concentrates (including THC oils, waxes, extracts, etc)
- Possess up to 72 oz of “marijuana-infused edibles”
- Designate an MMJ caregiver to purchase and/or grow medicinal marijuana for them
Also, in terms of how to apply for medical marijuana in Oklahoma, the application process is relatively easy compared to most other states. (Also, MMJ cards in Oklahoma are valid for 2-years instead of the regular 1-year in most other states).
In fact, the current bill highlights no qualifying medical conditions at all; in other words, Oklahoma doctors can recommend legal marijuana use for whoever they see fit – a fact that has outraged many residents and lawmakers in the state.
Dr. Kevin Taubman, for instance, former president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, has said: “This is a bad public health policy that does not resemble a legitimate medical treatment program.”
Connie Givens, an Oklahoma resident that opposed the bill on grounds that it was written to backhandedly permit the use of recreational marijuana, shares the same sentiment: “I think it’s not written right. I think it’s just so people can get marijuana.”
The fact that the legislation includes no qualifying medical conditions has led many to believe that doctors will be able to “authorize weed” for any number of ailments, whether legitimate or not. This is why many thought it was so unlikely the bill would be implemented without some serious amendments to the terms and statutes. However, that has not been in the case.
How to Apply for Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma
Without further ado, here are the outlined steps highlighting everything you will need and everything that it takes to apply for medical marijuana in Oklahoma. As we said the program is a pretty simple one to apply for, so make sure and check out the various steps if you are an Oklahoma resident and think that medical cannabis may be a viable option for you.
Step 1) start the online oklahoma medical marijuana application
The first step in applying for medical marijuana in Oklahoma is to visit the state’s official MMJ platform to begin your online application. You will need to fill out various online forms and provide the following information:
- Your full legal name and date of birth
- Your permanent mailing address
- A telephone number and email address
- Your current physician information
- Patient signature dated within 30 days of the application date
You will also need to electronically sign the form before submitting it for review. Additionally, you will need to include a signed Physician Recommendation Form from a licensed practicing Oklahoma doctor, so the next step is to find and set up an appointment with an appropriate healthcare provider.
Step 2) Find a Doctor and schedule an appointment
To be clear, not all Oklahoma doctors are required to participate in the medical marijuana program. If your current doctor has chosen not to recommend medical marijuana for his or her patients, you will need to locate another doctor in the state who does.
Basically, the process is as simple as downloading the Physician Recommendation Form, bringing it into your doctor’s appointment, and then having the doctor’s office scan it into the computer so you can submit it along with your online application.
It is important to know that ALL PHYSICIAN RECOMMENDATION FORMS MUST BE SUBMITTED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION.
Step 3) GATHER AND SUBMIT ALL OTHER NECESSARY DOCUMENTS
In addition to completing the online application and submitting the Physician Recommendation Form, you will need to provide the following documents in order to complete your application for medical marijuana in Oklahoma:
- Proof of Oklahoma residency
- Proof of identity
- A full-face digital photograph
Here is a table highlighting what types of documents will be accepted in order to fulfill each of the above requirements:
|APPLICATION REQUIREMENT||TYPES OF DOCUMENTS ACCEPTED (Only ONE of the following is required)|
|Proof of residency||
|Proof of Identity||
|Full-face digital photograph||See here for detailed instructions for how to submit a digital photograph for your Oklahoma medical marijuana application|
Step 4) pay the application fee and submit your completed application
Once you have completed the online application, submitted the Physician Recommendation Form, and submitted all other necessary documentation, you then must pay the online application fee and submit your application for review by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). Application fees are as follows:
- Standard application fees are $100
- Reduced-fee applications are available for $20 for those who qualify (and can provide proof of enrollment in) Medicaid (SoonerCare) or Medicare.
*[All application fees MUST be paid with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit or debit card. If you do not have a credit or debit card, you must find a retail store that offers pre-paid Visa or MasterCards and purchase one there].
**Also, be advised that these fees DO NOT include physician consultation fees that will be necessary to receive your Physician Recommendation Form.
Once the application and fees have been submitted in their entirety, the application will be reviewed for approval by OMMA. If everything is in order and you are approved for medical marijuana, you will receive an approval letter in the mail within 14 days of the application submission, along with your valid MMJ card that allows you to buy medical marijuana in Oklahoma dispensaries.
If the application is missing required documents, you will be notified via email. If the application is denied because of requirements that have not been met, you will receive a letter of denial in the mail within 14 days of submission of the application.
For more information, feel free to call the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority at 405-271-2266 for additional assistance.
Applying for Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma: What Else Do You Need to Know?
As we’ve already mentioned, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has been actively reviewing online patient applications for the issuance of medical marijuana ID cards since July 26 2018. Here are a few FAQ and additional things worth considering in regard to the state’s MMJ program:
What do I need from my doctor in order to get a medical marijuana license?
In order to be approved for medical marijuana in Oklahoma, you must obtain a physician’s signature on the official OMMA form (see above for link) stating that you need medical marijuana. If you are a minor (under the age of 18), you will need to obtain two physician signatures on a separate form.
How much does it cost to apply for a medical marijuana license in Oklahoma?
The OMMA application fee is $100, and it will need to be renewed every two years. For applicants that qualify with Medicaid (SoonerCare) or Medicare benefits, the application fee is $20.
What department is overseeing the medical marijuana program?
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) is currently overseeing the entirety of the state’s MMJ program, including all applications related to “patients, caregivers, growers, processors, transporters and dispensaries.”
Can i grow my own marijuana in oklahoma?
Yes. Qualified patients will be allowed to grow up to grow up to six mature plants in their private residence, in addition to six immature plants (seedlings).
How long will it take to get my medical marijuana card in Oklahoma?
Unless additional documents are required, all completed applications will be either approved or denied within 14 days of receipt. You will receive a letter in the mail stating whether you have been approved or denied.
Can I designate a caregiver to buy and deliver medical marijuana on my behalf?
Yes. Under qualifying circumstances (as stated on the application), licenses will be granted that provide a designated caregiver to licensed patients (you will need to provide valid/documented information on why you need a caregiver).
Do I have to be a resident of Oklahoma in order to apply?
No. Residents of other states outside Oklahoma that hold a valid MMJ license in their home state may apply for a temporary license to “buy, use, and grow” medical marijuana from an Oklahoma dispensary. The license will be valid for 30 days, and cannot exceed the expiration of the out-of-state MMJ card. Temporary Oklahoma MMJ licenses can be renewed.
How do I get a license to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Oklahoma? Or to become a grower, processor, or transporter in Oklahoma?
As with the standard medical marijuana applications, application materials for potential growers, transporters, processors, and dispensary operators have been available since July 26 at omma.ok.gov. Applicants for these positions must be:
- At least 25 years old
- A resident of Oklahoma
- Already registered to conduct business in the state
- Have no more than 25% non-Oklahoma ownership (i.e. no more than 25% of your dispensary partners can be non-Oklahoma residents)
Application fees for growers, processors, and dispensary operators will be $2,500.
*The Oklahoma State Department of Health will be updating the status of the medical marijuana program as new information becomes available. You can either check omma.ok.gov, or call 405-271-2266 for the most up to date information.
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