Is Marijuana Legal in the State of Oklahoma?
Oklahoma continues to prohibit recreational cannabis, and those who are caught possessing marijuana can still face criminal charges. However, the Sooner State does manage a medical marijuana program for patients with certain qualifying conditions, which allows them to purchase weed at licensed dispensaries using a state-issued medical marijuana card.
History of Weed Laws
In 2018, Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana when voters passed Question 788 on June 26, which was also known as the Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative. As a result, Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize cannabis for medicinal use.
In 2020, Oklahoma was ready to vote on the legalization of adult-use cannabis, also known as recreational cannabis, but the COVID-19 crisis hindered the efforts by preventing assembly of those looking to gather signatures. Adult-use marijuana remains illegal in Oklahoma.
The medical marijuana program in Oklahoma is managed by the Oklahoma Department of Health, who manages the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) which was launched to develop rules and regulations pertaining to all aspects related to the program, including the operations of dispensaries, qualifying conditions for patients and the application process for both patients and caregivers. They also provide licensing to distributors, cultivators, processors laboratories and dispensaries throughout the state.
Where Can a Person Legally Purchase Weed in Oklahoma?
Anyone without medical authorization cannot legally purchase marijuana in Oklahoma and failing to comply can lead to criminal charges. The only people who may buy marijuana in Oklahoma are state-authorized medical patients and caregivers. Patients and caregivers may only buy marijuana from state-approved dispensaries that are found throughout the state. Delivery services are prohibited in Oklahoma, meaning that dispensaries cannot deliver cannabis to patients’ homes. But, patients can authorize caregivers through the state who can make purchases on a patient’s behalf and deliver them to the patient.
There are no purchase limits in Oklahoma, but there are possession limits that must be adhered to. All medical marijuana products come with a 7% sales tax.
Where Can Cannabis Legally Be Used?
The state has not defined consumption laws, which means that no law explicitly states that consumption of cannabis in public is illegal. However, it’s safe to assume that cannabis should only be consumed at home or on another private property with the permission of the property owner. The law does state that smoking or vaping cannabis in areas in which smoking is banned will lead to the same types of charges as consuming tobacco.
Driving or riding a bicycle, or even operating any type of vehicle while under the influence of cannabis, can lead to criminal DUI charges. It is illegal to consume cannabis in a vehicle even if you are a passenger.
Medical patients and caregivers are the only residents who can legally possess cannabis. They may possess a maximum of 3 ounces of flower on their person and 8 ounces at home, in addition to 1 ounce of concentrate and 72 ounces of edible products. Anyone who possesses cannabis without a medical authorization will face a misdemeanor charge, although if the individual can prove that they have a medical condition deemed a qualifying condition by the state, without a medical card, they may be able to walk away with a small fine.
Can Residents Grow Their Own?
Patients can apply to grow their own cannabis through the state registry system. They may grow six mature and six immature plants, which must be grown out of public view. A caregiver may be authorized to grow on their behalf.
OMMA manages the state’s medical marijuana program, which permits qualifying patients to apply for a medical marijuana card that gives them access to making purchases at state-approved facilities.
The state does not have a list of qualifying conditions for prospective medical marijuana patients. Instead, the state recognizes the approval of a physician who can determine whether or not their patient would benefit from marijuana as a form of treatment. The physician must be board-certified, and also write a certification for marijuana treatment on the patient’s behalf. The physician is required to follow the same procedures that they would when recommending or prescribing any other types of medications to a patient.
A prospective medical marijuana patient must be treated by a board-certified doctor and receive a certification from them stating that marijuana would be a beneficial form of treatment based on the nature of their condition.
How to Register for Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma
OK allows a patient to apply for a medical marijuana card after receiving a certification from their physician, through the OMMA website. This application process requires a fee of $100, although Medicaid and Medicare patients, along with disabled veterans, can apply for $20. The patient must provide a state-issued ID to prove residency.
Qualifying as a Caregiver
A caregiver must first be authorized by the patient’s physician before they can move forward with the application process. Minors are required to designate a caregiver who is either a parent or legal guardian and may designate up to 2 caregivers who are parents or legal guardians. Adult patients can only designate 1 caregiver, but caregivers can care for up to 5 patients.
Registering as a Caregiver
A caregiver must submit an application form to the state, along with their proof of residency in the form of a state-issued ID. There is no fee for applying or receiving a caregiver card. Once the application is approved, the caregiver will be granted access to purchase from licensed dispensaries on the patient’s behalf.
Oklahoma does not recognize out-of-state visitors’ medical marijuana cards as valid at Oklahoma dispensaries. However, those who are visiting for long periods of time may apply for a temporary medical marijuana authorization through the state.
No matter if its Oklahoma City or Tulsa, all cannabis products that are sold throughout Oklahoma are required by law to undergo a testing process by an independent, state-authorized laboratory. The products are tested for cannabinoid and terpene profiles, THC potency, contaminants, microbes, and impurities.