Oklahoma voters recently took matters into their own hands and legalized medical marijuana with the passage of the initiative SQ 788. Within a few months, the state's health department began accepting applications from patients, caregivers and prospective medical cannabis businesses.
After the measure was approved on June 26, 2018, the Oklahoma State Department of Health established the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) to run the state's medical marijuana program. OMMA is responsible for licensing, regulating, and administering the program.
As of March 26, 2019, figures from the department show that licenses have been approved for 74,778 patients, 642 caregivers, 1,193 dispensaries, 2,161 growers and 605 processors. The law allows licensed medical marijuana patients and caregivers to possess and grow limited amounts of cannabis and to purchase cannabis from regulated businesses.
Licensed patients receive an identification card with their name, photo, date of birth, city and county of residence, the type of license, the date the license expires and a unique medical marijuana license number. A license is valid for two years from the date issued.
Oklahoma's Qualifying Conditions
Medical marijuana licenses require patients to get approval from an Oklahoma Board certified physician, but there are no qualifying conditions. The law only states that a medical marijuana license must be recommended “according to the accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication.”
Conditions that are commonly included in other state medical marijuana programs are generally used as guidance for physicians in Oklahoma. These include:
- Chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Epilepsy, and other maladies that produce seizures
- Terminal illness
- Muscle spasms
- Cachexia and wasting syndrome
- Neuropathic pain disorders
- Crohn's disease
- Anorexia and bulimia
Applying for Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma
Applications and payment are collected through an online system. A valid email address, which is used to send notices once an account is created, is required to login for the first time. Required information includes name, proof of residence and mailing address, driver's license or valid ID, color photo, date of birth, phone number and email, physician information and a patient signature.
An Adult Patient Physician Recommendation Form signed by a physician and dated within 30 days of an application submission is also required. The standard application fee is $100. Those who can provide proof of Medicaid (SoonerCare) or Medicare enrollment pay $20. Once an application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by OMMA. If it meets all requirements, an approval letter with an identification card will be mailed within 14 days of the application submission date. If an application is incomplete, applicants will receive email correspondence stating the reasons.
Appointing a Caregiver
Licenses are available for caregivers of patients who can provide documentation from a physician showing that they need a caregiver. Physicians must note the need for a caregiver on the Physician Recommendation Form attached to a patient's application. Caregiver applications are collected at omma.ok.gov.
There are a few factors to keep in mind when applying to be a caregiver in Oklahoma:
- A valid email address is required for login onto the OMMA website
- Patients are allowed one licensed caregiver at a time
- Caregiver licenses are valid up to the expiration date of the associated patient's license
- There is no application fee for caregiver licenses
Parents or legal guardian caregivers of minor patients must submit a Minor Patient Caregiver Designation Form. Minor patients may have up to two designated caregivers who are parents or legal guardians.
Acquiring Your Medicine
There is no shortage of licensed dispensaries in Oklahoma, with among the greatest numbers in the counties of Carter, Cleveland, Comanche, Delaware, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Tulsa and Washington. OMMA maintains a list of currently licensed businesses that are separated by business type. Some businesses that are licensed may not be up and running yet, so make sure to contact a dispensary before visiting.
Patients and caregivers may possess and grow limited amounts of cannabis. Patients can legally possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana, up to six mature marijuana plants, 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana and 72 ounces of edible marijuana and possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana in their residence.
Rules for Out-of-State Patients
Residents of other states can apply for a temporary, 30-day license in Oklahoma. Applicants must have a valid medical marijuana license from another state, and must be able to show proof of identity. Applications for temporary licenses can be filled out at the OMMA website. The temporary license application fee is $100.