OMMA Preparing For Future, What's Next For The Program In 2020
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma's Medical Marijuana Authority is making big strides, and 2020 will mark two years for the program.
In that short time, Oklahoma residents have put the state on the map when it comes to marijuana.
Just in the last few months the OMMA also named Travis Kirkpatrick as their new director.
"We are the most rapidly developed program in the nation," said Kirkpatrick.
The director said the initial boom Oklahoma saw back in 2018 was triple what was expected.
"Some of the projects I saw were 80 thousand, which is what Colorado did in their first year," said Kirkpatrick. "We did 240,000."
Today more than 247,000 patients have their medical marijuana license, there are over 2,000 dispensaries and almost a dozen new labs were recently licensed with more in the works.
"Within the next two to three weeks I think we will see potentially 18 labs fully licensed, which would put us on par with Colorado," said Kirkpatrick.
The OMMA said the program has brought in millions for the state. Part of those funds end up going back to education.
"In fiscal year 2019 $750,000 was earmarked for education," said Kirkpatrick.
But Kirkpatrick thinks this boom, especially on the business side and when it comes to the amount of dispensaries popping up, could slow down. He said now their main focus is serving patients and starting to look toward the future.
"We at OMMA want to make things streamlined for everyone so one of the biggest innovations were working is digital patient licensing," said Kirkpatrick.
A move being made by departments across the state.
Recreational marijuana is also something that's now a conversation in Oklahoma.
"We always expect the unexpected, and we just want to be ready for whatever comes," said Kirkpatrick. "I think what if nothing else its taught us that we want to be proactive and planning ahead."
He said the OMMA doesn't take a stance, but whatever happens his staff will be prepared.
The OMMA is currently taking public comment on new proposals to rule changes.
People can weigh-in by heading to the OMMA's official website.