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Oklahoma AG advises board of health to amend medical marijuana rules

Posted: 11:14 AM, Jul 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-18 16:21:19Z

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter on Wednesday advised the State Board of Health to amend the rules it passed last week on medical marijuana, which have drawn the ire of pro-marijuana supporters.

Hunter says he is seeking for the new law to be in accordance with what Oklahomans voted in favor of on State Question 788.

“The current rules contain provisions that are inconsistent with the plain language of State Question 788 and the State Board of Health acted outside of its authority when it voted to implement them,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Although I didn’t support State Question 788, the people of the state have spoken and I have a legal duty to honor the decision made by the electorate. My advice today is made pursuant to that responsibility as attorney general.

“Moving forward, I encourage all stakeholders to engage with the legislative working group looking at medical marijuana to ensure they have their concerns and recommendations heard and addressed by the legislature.”

In a letter to Health Department Interim Director Tom Bates, Hunter said the "board’s role in limiting the forms of marijuana products is confined to food and safety standards that are in line with food preparation guidelines, not prohibiting the sale of smokable, vapable, edible or other forms of marijuana."

Hunter says he also took issue with the board's actions to require dispensaries to hire a pharmacist.

“The board has not been given any express or implied statutory authority to impose additional requirements on licensees. Thus, the board rules improperly require every licensed dispensary to have “a current licensed pharmacist” present “on-site at least 40 hours per week.” Nothing in the text of State Question 788 expressly or impliedly authorizes this rule.”

Read the full letter here.   

Several lawsuits were filed last week soon after the emergency rules were approved by the board of health and signed by Gov. Mary Fallin.

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