Medical Marijuana: What’s Next?

Over a dozen medical marijuana bills are being heard from both sides of the chamber, many of them dealing with more regulations.

Wednesday, March 8th 2023, 6:18 pm



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Over a dozen medical marijuana bills are being heard from both sides of the chamber, many of them dealing with more regulations.

“We really need to clamp down on the marijuana industry,” said Rep. Scott Fetgatter, (R) Okmulgee.

Representative Fetgatter passed a bill through the house this week that would require more information up-front to get a marijuana license.

“Currently in Oklahoma, you have $2500, you don't have a felony from the past two years, you fill out an application- you can get a marijuana license,” said Rep. Fetgatter.

This isn’t the first year that Rep. Fetgatter has worked to pass similar legislation.

“The Oklahoma House of Representatives for the past four years has passed by unanimous margins many regulatory framework bills from our chamber, only to die once they leave our chamber,” said Rep. Fetgatter.

He says they have to be careful about the way they regulate medicinal pot, but that it needs to be done before illegal operations get out of hand.

“The government has not properly implemented the regulations needed to keep out the black market,” said Rep. Fetgatter.

Also passing through the house today was House Bill 1711 from Representative T.J. Marti.

“Currently we obviously have a pretty big black market here in Oklahoma, it's hard for OMA to figure out how much people are growing,” said Rep. Marti, (R) Broken Arrow.

HB 1711 would monitor electric and water usage at commercial grows.

“The tracking system has no idea how much marijuana the plant actually grows,” said Rep. Marti. “This is just identifying those that look like they're falling outside of the normal range, and sending out an inspector to see what's going on.”

“I think the state has some cleaning up to do, the industry has some cleaning up to do, and that's what they said loud and clear last night,” said Rep. Fetgatter.

Senator Garvin also released a statement supporting reform for medical marijuana.

“Oklahoma is a better place for this state question failing,” said Garvin. “I think the overwhelming results are also a clear sign that Oklahomans are not happy with the current medical marijuana program and want it to be reformed. That is why this session, I have introduced a number of bills that will close loopholes in illegal activity, further protect children and make the program a true medical marijuana program, not recreational marijuana lite, which is what it is now.”

“Having worked in the medical field for my entire professional life, I have seen patients who have benefited from the CBD and THC found in cannabis. That said, the people of Oklahoma have spoken and it’s time for the Legislature to step up and take action based on Tuesday's vote,” said Garvin.

“We're beginning to see data supporting the medical benefits and we need to ensure patients who are thriving, such as our veterans and cancer patients, continue to have the best quality of life possible. However, Oklahomans are frustrated with the negative activities, including human trafficking, loss of life, strain on our already brittle infrastructure, and increasing burdens on our judicial and mental health systems. Reform begins with looking at data supporting both sides of the argument and having meaningful conversations about public policy that uphold what voters supported in 2018 when they passed SQ788, but also striving to eliminate the unintended consequences it created. I'm hopeful we can get some, if not all, of these measures across the finish line and onto the governor’s desk this session,” said Garvin.

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