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Medical marijuana group introduces sample Oklahoma bill

July 24, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A medical marijuana trade group unveiled a sample bill it hopes Oklahoma lawmakers meeting this week will use as a starting point to create regulations for the cannabis market.

New Health Solutions Oklahoma announced its model bill last weekend called the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act. The group said the sample policy is a good foundation for the state’s new bipartisan legislative panel tasked with recommending regulations for Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana industry, the Oklahoman reported .

The panel will meet for the first time on Wednesday. Members of the panel said they want to make sure voters’ intent is carried out in law instead of emergency regulations imposed by the Oklahoma Board of Health after State Question 788 passed last month.

The controversial rules approved earlier this month ban sales of smokable marijuana and require dispensaries to hire pharmacists. Attorney General Mike Hunter said last week that the board overstepped its authority with some rules he said weren’t authorized under the medical marijuana law.

The Health Department’s former top attorney, Julia Ezell, is also facing charges related to threats she allegedly emailed to herself. And the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy’s executive director, Chelsea Church, is being investigated for text messages suggesting she offered the attorney a better paying job in exchange for the rule requiring pharmacists in dispensaries.

Passing a bill would address the board’s limited authority and the appearance it prioritized the interest of medical groups over voters, said Jed Green, the trade group’s political director.

“Even the good things they’re trying to do, they don’t have the authority to do it,” he said.

New Health Solutions’ model bill incorporates much of the board’s framework but takes out points like the smoking and pharmacist amendments, a lack of protection for gun owners and limits on the percentage of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The bill also lays out more detailed rules for different kinds of marijuana-related businesses than the board’s regulations.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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