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Since Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana (MMJ) back in August 2018, the state has quickly become home to one of the largest populations of MMJ users in the entire country. In fact, with more than 210,000 MMJ patients as of November 2019, MMJ users account for nearly 5% of the state’s population. These numbers also reflect that Oklahoma has the biggest MMJ program throughout the whole U.S. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) is the board that authorizes MMJ applications, and their offices have basically been overrun by patients looking to get approved for the usage of MMJ products.
With more MMJ patients than in any other state, the Oklahoma MMJ industry is booming with sales of more than $350 million through the end of last year. So, why is the market thriving so much more than in other parts of the country? There are a few reasons, one being that Oklahoma is pretty close to a free-market system. This means that there are no caps on the number of business licenses that can be awarded to dispensaries. Municipalities are also prohibited from enacting zoning restrictions, so it’s difficult to actually prevent dispensaries from opening in certain areas. As of late last year, the state had issued licenses for more than 2,000 dispensaries, 1,400 processors, and 4,900 growers. With this type of growth, some people estimate that the state’s revenue could reach as high as $700 million a year in sales from MMJ products in the future.
But perhaps one of the biggest factors that affects Oklahoma MMJ in 2020 is that doctors in the state are permitted to recommend MMJ products for whatever condition they deem fit. This allows for MMJ patients to have more flexibility in receiving the products they need to help alleviate their physical or mental health symptoms. Bypassing stricter policies in other states means that Oklahomans can get MMJ products to help with a wider range of illnesses and medical conditions.
There will likely be new regulations and adjustments made to the MMJ laws in the state over the course of 2020. There’s a bill in the works called SAFE Banking Act, which would prohibit federal entities from punishing banks who are providing services to cannabis-related businesses. At this point, there are still regulations working against medical marijuana businesses from using basic banking services (mostly because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level). Some banks are still allowing these businesses to use their services, but more unrestricted regulations could help remedy this issue entirely (and would most likely just lead to even more prospering MMJ businesses and higher sales).
There will also likely be legislation that will affect product labeling. There are pretty strict standards in place regarding the packaging, labeling, and testing of marijuana products, but many people are guessing that there will be even more regulations put into law to ensure consumer safety overall. Companies will also most likely need to track their products with stricter regulations from ‘seed-to-sale’ for this reason as well.
Another major change will be surrounding the drug-testing aspect of medical marijuana. House Bill 2779, which will go before the legislature in February, would alter language regarding employment protections for MMJ cardholders. The measure currently states that employers may not take action against an MMJ cardholder based solely on their status as an MMJ user or the results of a drug test. The new bill would add language so that employers are banned from hiring or firing MMJ users unless a failure to do so would cause an employer the potential to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law. While these laws could affect some aspects of an MMJ users’ experience, it’s likely that the Oklahoma MMJ population will just continue to grow throughout the state.
MMJ products can alleviate symptoms from a large number of medical conditions (everything from cancer and eating disorders to HIV and glaucoma). If you and your doctor think you can find a benefit from using these products, you can head to MMJRecs. They can do a virtual assessment to help see if you’d qualify for an MMJ card. Then they can provide an official medical marijuana recommendation, ID card, and grower’s permit all for one flat rate. The best part is that you never have to leave the comfort of your home to get it all taken care of. Plus, with an MMJ card, you’re permitted to possess:
If you’re thinking about getting an MMJ card in Oklahoma in 2020, now is the perfect time. With the immense popularity of medical marijuana in Oklahoma, your access to safe and reliable products is also growing. Even with any upcoming potential legislature, you’ll still be able to get all the many benefits of an MMJ card today!