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Oklahoma has joined a number of states throughout the United States that have legalized medical marijuana (MMJ). Because of its legality, MMJ products have been able to help a growing number of people who can find health benefits from using marijuana. Check out the info below to help you learn all you can about Oklahoma and MMJ laws.
Although recreational marijuana is still illegal in Oklahoma, in August 2018, the state made medical marijuana legal. Since then, there has been a surge in people applying for MMJ cards, with over 151,000 people (about 3.5% of the state’s population) signing up for MMJ licenses. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the board that authorizes MMJ cards, has seen its offices overwhelmed with MMJ applications – sometimes receiving as many as 3,500 a week! In fact, OK MMJ laws have led to the state having more MMJ users per capita than any other state in the U.S. In general, Oklahoma residents are happy about the changes in the law. Because MMJ products can be useful for a variety of conditions (including everything from cancer and glaucoma to HIV/AIDS and Parkinson’s), many people are taking full advantage of medical marijuana being legalized to help alleviate or eradicate painful or bothersome symptoms they experience.
There have been some minor tweaks to the MMJ laws in Oklahoma in recent months. In August 2019, Oklahoma veterans with a permanent disability only have to pay $20 for their MMJ card (rather than the standard $100 fee). Additionally, law enforcement now has electronic access to the information that’s on an individual’s MMJ card (such as their picture and unique 24-digit ID number). The state will also be rolling out changes to the programs that work with laboratory testing, electronic tracking systems, and short-term licenses in order to better regulate and oversee MMJ usage. Because lawmakers are working to amend the laws rather than completely dismantle them, it seems likely that the legislation making MMJ legal is likely to stay in place. There are still basic laws about growing, cultivating, and using MMJ products, including that you are permitted to possess:
Even with a valid MMJ card, you are not legally allowed to buy MMJ any place besides a state-licensed dispensary (so purchasing from a dealer or another MMJ cardholder is prohibited!)
It’s also not very likely the state will reverse MMJ legality anytime soon because the state is seeing major growth in the number of dispensaries being opened (with around 1,500 dispensary licenses being approved since MMJ was legalized). With increased sales of MMJ products (of upwards of $23 million in sales a month), Oklahoma is also earning state and local taxes to the estimated tune of $2 million a month. More money in state coffers means they’re less likely to head down the route of making MMJ illegal again. In fact, there’s a good chance that the selling and usage of MMJ will only continue to be more accepted in the state (by both MMJ patients and lawmakers alike).
You’ll want to get your own MMJ card if you have a medical condition that qualifies you to use MMJ products. In order to apply for one, you can go to omma.ok.gov to get an application. You’ll also need a medical professional to help you complete your application; they’ll need to verify that you do have a health issue with symptoms that could be improved with the usage of MMJ. If you don’t have a medical professional to turn to, you can always use the services of MMJRecs. You’ll also need to pay the $100 application fee and provide proof of residency and proof of identification (more details can be found on the OMMA website about this).
If you’re caught by law enforcement with marijuana and you don’t have a valid MMJ card, you could face consequences of a misdemeanor charge of up to one year in prison (if you’re carrying less than 1.5 ounces of cannabis) and a fine of up to $1,000. The charges and fines are much more serious for subsequent offences or for selling marijuana. Similarly, being caught with marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or in the presence of a child under the age of 12 could mean you face double penalties. The amount of marijuana you’re carrying and the location you’re at when confronted by law enforcement could also impact your punishment. Make sure you have a legitimate MMJ card and always get it renewed every year to avoid getting caught with an invalid, expired card.
MMJ laws in Oklahoma are pretty similar to those of the other 32 states that have legalized it so far. With the growing number of people who are applying for MMJ cards, it’s likely the popularity and acceptance of medical marijuana will only just increase with time. To take advantage of the legal status of medical marijuana in Oklahoma, you can apply for your own MMJ card today.