State Question 788

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Red Bud Dispensary in Marlow, Okla. looks like an Apple store, with white walls and track lighting. The dispensary is packed with people, but they aren’t here to buy medical marijuana. The dispensary hasn’t technically opened yet, so it doesn’t even have THC products – the mainly middle-aged crowd is standing around empty glass cases. They are here for something else – a doctor’s recommendation.

LLUDO / FLICKR (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

With a huge freshman class and a promise for less gridlock, Oklahoma lawmakers filed more than 2,800 bills this legislative session. With a third of the session now over, the StateImpact team has an update on some bills we’re following.

 

Health

 

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

William Yarborough walks across the hall from his office to an exam room. His Hawaiian shirt and matching khaki pants aren’t the typical doctor’s garb.

As he opens the door, the informality is reflected in the Oklahoma Pain and Wellness Center’s grey-and-white exam room where Richard Potts sits on a black leather chair — instead of an exam table — waiting to talk to him. What follows is a conversation that Yarborough estimates he has about 20 times a day at the after State Question 788 passed in June.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates told a group of lawmakers Wednesday a special legislative session is needed to fix gaps in the state’s new medical marijuana rules.

Oil and gas companies spent more than half a million dollars to defeat State Question 788, a statewide ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

Companies from Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas collectively contributed $590,100 to “SQ 788 is Not Medical,” a political action committee established to defeat the measure, state ethics records show.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The nine-member Oklahoma State Board of Health unanimously passed new medical marijuana emergency regulations at a special meeting Wednesday.

The new emergency rules, which were updated just a few hours before the vote, are less than a third of the length of the regulations approved at the board’s July 10 meeting.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Two groups of Oklahomans have filed lawsuits to block last-minute additions to the state’s first-ever medical marijuana rules.

Mia Mamone / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

On Wednesday, Governor Mary Fallin signed into law emergency medical marijuana rules, including two controversial amendments approved by the state board of health earlier this week.

David Anderson

The Oklahoma State Board of Health on Tuesday approved emergency rules to regulate medical marijuana, which Oklahoma voters approved in June.

The 76 pages regulate the sale, cultivation and transportation of the drug — but the board made two big, last-minute changes.

DANK DEPOT / FLICKR/CC BY-NC 2.0

Modeling their recommendations on some of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the country, a group representing doctors, hospitals, clinics and other health professionals on Monday urged the state to prevent smokable marijuana from being sold at dispensaries, limit the number of dispensaries to 50 statewide, and require a pharmacist to be in the dispensary and “part of the approval process.”

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