Less than four months after voters in Oklahoma legalized the use of medical marijuana, more than 12,000 patients have been approved for licenses by state regulators. Nearly 2,000 more licenses have been issued to cannabis businesses, according to a tweet from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA).
As of November 11, OMMA had issued 12,281 licenses to medical marijuana patients. Another 76 licenses were approved for patient caregivers. The agency has approved licenses for 651 medical marijuana dispensaries, 1,060 cannabis cultivators, and 277 processors of medical marijuana products. In all, OMMA has already approved 14,345 license applications.
It appears that even more applications for medical marijuana applications are yet to be processed by the state. OMMA also reported in its tweet the total number of applications the agency has received. So far, applications from 16,640 patients, 148 caregivers, and 2,221 businesses have been filed. Data on any license applications that may not have been approved was not provided.
Business Applicants Info Posted Online
Security concerns were raised by applicants for medical marijuana business licenses when their addresses were posted online by OMMA on October 31. OMMA communications manager Melissa Miller said that the agency was required to release the information.
“We were inundated with requests to share grower’s addresses and, because they’re public records, we had to reply,” Miller said. “We thought it would be easier to make the list public.”
After the addresses were posted online, at least one applicant for a cultivation license was burglarized, according to media reports.
Applications Opened In August
OMMA began accepting applications for the state medical marijuana program on August 24. Applications may be completed online at www.OMMA.ok.gov. When state regulators announced that OMMA was ready to accept applications for the new medical marijuana program, Interim State Health Commissioner Tom Bates said that the agency had complied with the mandate of State Question 788 (SQ 788), the initiative that legalized medicinal cannabis.
“Thanks to the hard work of our Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) project team, we have been able to meet the required timelines of SQ 788 and provide a system that will efficiently provide for the processing of applications,” said Bates. “It has taken many long hours and great coordination between partners to reach this benchmark and we could not have accomplished our work without the help and expertise of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services and our software vendor, Complia Government Solutions.”
Voters Passed Medical Marijuana Initiative in June
Oklahoma voters approved SQ 788 in a statewide election in June. The initiative legalized cannabis for medicinal use and establishes a regulatory framework for a legal distribution and retail sales.
Unlike medicinal cannabis legislation in many states, SQ 788 does not include a list of specific qualifying conditions. Instead, the initiative allows doctors to decide if their patients might benefit from cannabis.
Chip Paul is the chairman of Oklahomans for Health, a cannabis advocacy group responsible for SQ 788. He told High Times after the initiative succeeded at the ballot box that the measure is a victory for patients.
“With the passage of SQ788, Oklahomans have passed perhaps the most unique medical marijuana law in the nation. With no qualifying conditions, the law will put accountability squarely in the hands of physicians and under the same state regulatory controls as prescription medications. We are pleased that Oklahomans have seen our vision and have adopted the state question into law.”