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More progressive states have been making it easier and easier for patients to have access to medical marijuana for years – but there are a few places where this progressive policy may come as a bit of a surprise… States like Oklahoma, for example.
Oklahoma isn’t necessarily known as the most progressive state, but with its legalization of medical marijuana, there’s a case to be made that Oklahoma may be one of the most progressive places for medical marijuana in the country.
In 2018, the voters of Oklahoma made their voices heard and State Question 788 was approved to allow a legal medical marijuana program. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority was set up to register patients in the program and one year later, Oklahoma ranks near the top of the 33 states that have approved MMJ legislation in participation from its citizens in the program.
When it comes to their medical marijuana policy, there’s a case to be made that Oklahoma is one of the most progressive. They have more approved growers and dispensaries than states that approved medical marijuana many years before them, such as Arkansas. This is due, in part, to a non-competitive application process for growers and dispensaries that largely lets the market decide when enough is enough.
Oklahoma officials see that the demand for medical marijuana is there, so they want to help people to have easy access to apply for licenses and get recommendations. It could be said that, when it comes to medical marijuana and access, Oklahoma is right up there with more traditionally progressive states like California.
There are a few important ways that Oklahoma differs from other states in how its medical marijuana program is run. For starters, they don’t have a specific list of conditions that qualify a person for a medical marijuana card. Whether or not a person can benefit from MMJ is left up to their healthcare practitioner to decide.
There are also no limits on how many medical marijuana dispensaries can be opened at once. In the first year, the state has approved over 1,500 dispensaries – and that number is only going up. That’s more business licenses than Colorado approved in their first year of MMJ operation.
Since the passing of State Question 788, those who have a MMJ card in Oklahoma can legally consume marijuana. They can also legally possess:
Anyone with a medical marijuana license may also legally consume it in places that allow the smoking of tobacco and edible marijuana can legally be consumed anywhere. It’s important to note that on a federal level, all forms of marijuana remain illegal, so even if you have an Oklahoma medical marijuana card you are not exempt from prosecution on any federal lands in Oklahoma such as National Parks, tribal trust land, and military posts.
To get approved for a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma, you first have to be a citizen of the Sooner state. You must also generally be over 18, though some minors can be approved through a caregiver for a license.
There are no qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma, but you must still get the approval of a doctor, who must then prescribe it for you. The most common conditions treated with medical marijuana include:
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority charges a fee of $100 to get the card and it needs to be renewed every two years. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, then the application fee drops to $20. Applications are generally approved within 30 days.
You have to admit, Oklahoma sure does make it simple and straightforward for their residents to obtain an MMJ card and use it to help them treat medical conditions. That makes it one of the most progressive states in the union – at least when it comes to medical marijuana!