Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Oklahomans Vote in Favor of State Question 788: the Medical Cannabis Initiative



ANSWER VOTES PCT.
Yes                359,690 56.2%
No                280,750 43.8
570,851 votes, 74% reporting (1,435 of 1,951 precincts)

The measure would provide for the licensing of medical cannabis recipients, dispensaries, commercial growers, and processors. An office within the Oklahoma State Department of Health would be created to review applications and issue licenses.

Obtaining a patient license, possession, and use
An individual 18 years old or older who wants to obtain a medical cannabis license would need a board-certified physician's signature. An individual under the age of 18 would need the signatures of two physicians and his or her parent or legal guardian. There would be no qualifying conditions, but a doctor would be required to sign according to "accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication." Licenses would cost $100 and last two years. Recipients of Medicaid, Medicare, or SoonerCare would pay $20 for a license. Caregiver licensees would also be available.

Individuals possessing a medical cannabis license would be authorized to consume cannabis and possess up to three ounces on their persons, six mature and six seedling cannabis plants, up to one ounce of concentrated cannabis, up to 72 ounces of edible cannabis, and up to eight ounces of cannabis in their residences. Local governments would be empowered to enact guidelines allowing recipients to exceed the state-mandated possession limits. Possessing up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis without a license but with a medical condition would be deemed a misdemeanor.

Taxation
The measure would enact a 7 percent excise tax on cannabis sales. Going into the election, Paula Ross of the Oklahoma Tax Commission said since there is currently no statute exempting medical cannabis from sales tax, the 7 percent excise tax would be added on to the state's sales tax, coming out to a total of around 16 percent. The tax on cannabis in Oklahoma would be the highest in the nation after Washington, which as of 2016, made medical and recreational cannabis subject to a 37 percent excise tax. Revenue from the tax would finance regulatory costs. Any surplus would be distributed as follows: 75 percent to the General Fund to be used for education, and 25 percent to the Oklahoma State Department of Health to be used for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Local control and dispensary location restrictions
Municipalities would be prohibited from restricting zoning laws to prevent dispensaries. Dispensaries would not be allowed to be located within 1,000 feet of a school.

Licensing and regulation of dispensaries
Licenses to operate dispensaries, commercial growing operations, and processing operations would cost $2,500. Penalties, including fines and license revocations, would be established for operations that fail to report sales accurately. The Oklahoma State Department of Health would be authorized to inspect processing facilities. A panel of 12 residents, who are cannabis industry experts, would be established to create a list of food safety standards for the processing and handling of cannabis.

Employment and parental visitation
The initiative would forbid employers, landlords, and schools from penalizing persons for holding a medical cannabis license unless failing to do so causes a loss of benefits under federal law. Employers would be allowed to penalize license-holders who possess or use cannabis while at work. The initiative would guarantee that holding a medical cannabis license does not preclude parental visitation or custody of a child.

Check Out: Oklahomans For Cannabis
https://www.facebook.com/voteyeson788/

The full text of the measure is as follows [1]:
SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 420 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
A. A person in possession of a state issued medical cannabis license shall be able to:
1. Consume cannabis legally;
2. Legally possess up to three (3) ounces of cannabis on their person;
3. Legally possess six (6) mature cannabis plants;
4. Legally possess six (6) seedling plants;
5. Legally possess one (1) ounce of concentrated cannabis;
6. Legally possess seventy-two (72) ounces of edible cannabis; and
7. Legally possess up to eight (8) ounces of cannabis in their residence.

B. Possession of up to one and one-half (1.5) ounces of cannabis by persons who can state a medical condition, but not in possession of a state issued medical cannabis license, shall constitute a misdemeanor offense with a fine not to exceed Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00).

C. A regulatory office shall be established under the Oklahoma State Department of Health which will receive applications for medical license recipients, dispensaries, growers, and packagers within sixty (60) days of the passage of this initiative.

D. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, make available, on their website, in an easy to find location, an application for a medical cannabis license. The license will be good for two (2) years, and the application fee will be One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), or Twenty Dollars ($20.00) for individuals on Medicaid, Medicare, or SoonerCare. The methods of payment will be provided on the website.

E. A temporary license application will also be available on the Oklahoma Department of Health website. A temporary medical cannabis license will be granted to any medical cannabis license holder from other states, provided that the state has a state regulated medical cannabis program, and the applicant can prove they are a member of such. Temporary licenses will be issued for thirty (30) days. The cost for a temporary license shall be One Hundred Dollars ($100.00). Renewal will be granted with resubmission of a new application. No additional criteria will be required.

F. Medical cannabis license applicants will submit their application to the Oklahoma State Department of Health for approval and that the applicant must be an Oklahoma state resident and shall prove residency by a valid driver’s license, utility bills, or other accepted methods.

G. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall review the medical cannabis application, approve/reject the application, and mail the applicant’s approval or rejection letter (stating reasons for rejection) to the applicant within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the application. Approved applicants will be issued a medical cannabis license which will act as proof of their approved status. Applications may only be rejected based on applicant not meeting stated criteria or improper completion of the application.

H. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will only keep the following records for each approved medical license:
1. a digital photograph of the license holder;
2. the expiration date of the license;
3. the county where the card was issued; and
4. a unique 24 character identification number assigned to the license.

I. The Department of Health will make available, both on its website, and through a telephone verification system, an easy method to validate a medical license holders authenticity by the unique 24 character identifier.

J. The State Department of Health will ensure that all application records and information are sealed to protect the privacy of medical license applicants.

K. A caregiver license will be made available for qualified caregivers of a medical cannabis license holder who is homebound. The caregiver license will give the caregiver the same rights as the medical license holder. Applicants for a caregiver license will submit proof of the medical cannabis license holder’s license status and homebound status, that they are the designee of the medical cannabis license holder, must submit proof that the caregiver is age eighteen (18) or older, and must submit proof the caregiver is an Oklahoma resident. This will be the only criteria for a caregiver license.

L. All applicants must be eighteen (18) years or older. A special exception will be granted to an applicant under the age of eighteen (18), however these applications must be signed by two (2) physicians and the applicant’s parent or legal guardian.

M. All applications for a medical license must be signed by an Oklahoma Board certified physician. There are no qualifying conditions. A medical cannabis license must be recommended according to the accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication. No physician may be unduly stigmatized or harassed for signing a medical cannabis license application.

N. Counties and cities may enact medical cannabis guidelines allowing medical cannabis license holders or caregivers to exceed the state limits set forth in subsection A of this section.

SECTION 2. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 421 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, make available, on their website, in an easy to find location, an application for a medical cannabis dispensary license. The application fee shall be Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) and a method of payment will be provided on the website. Retail applicants must all be Oklahoma state residents. Any entity applying for a retail license must be owned by an Oklahoma state resident and must be registered to do business in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall have two (2) weeks to review the application, approve or reject the application, and mail the approval/rejection letter (if rejected, stating reasons for rejection) to the applicant.

B. The Oklahoma State Department of Health must approve all applications which meet the following criteria:
1. Applicant must be age twenty-five (25) or older;
2. Any applicant, applying as an individual, must show residency in the state of Oklahoma;
3. All applying entities must show that all members, managers, and board members are Oklahoma residents;
4. An applying entity may show ownership of non-Oklahoma residents, but that percentage ownership may not exceed twenty-five percent (25%);
5. All applying individuals or entities must be registered to conduct business in the state of Oklahoma;
6. All applicants must disclose all ownership;
7. Applicant(s) with only nonviolent felony conviction(s) in the last two (2) years, any other felony conviction in 5 (years), inmates, or any person currently incarcerated may not qualify for a medical cannabis dispensary license.

C. Retailers will be required to complete a monthly sales report to the Oklahoma Department of Health. This report will be due on the 15th of each month and provide reporting on the previous month. This report will detail the weight of cannabis purchased at wholesale and the weight of cannabis sold to card holders, and account for any waste. The report will show total sales in dollars, tax collected in dollars, and tax due in dollars. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will have oversight and auditing responsibilities to ensure that all cannabis being grown is accounted for. A retailer will only be subject to a penalty if a gross discrepancy exists and cannot be explained. Penalties for fraudulent reporting occurring within any 2 year time period will be an initial fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) (first) and revocation of licensing (second).

D. Only a licensed medical cannabis retailer may conduct retail sales of cannabis, or cannabis derivatives in the form provided by licensed processors, and these products can only be sold to a medical cannabis license holder or their caregiver. Penalties for fraudulent sales occurring within any 2 year time period will be an initial fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) (first) and revocation of licensing (second).

SECTION 3. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 422 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, make available, on their website, in an easy to find location, an application for a commercial grower license. The application fee will be Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) and methods of payment will be provided on the website. The Oklahoma State Department of Health has two (2) weeks to review application, approve or reject the application, and mail the approval/rejection letter (if rejected, stating reasons for rejection) to the applicant.

B. The Oklahoma State Department of Health must approve all applications which meet the following criteria:
1. Applicant must be age twenty-five (25) or older;
2. Any applicant, applying as an individual, must show residency in the state of Oklahoma;
3. All applying entities must show that all members, managers, and board members are Oklahoma residents;
4. An applying entity may show ownership of non-Oklahoma residents, but that percentage ownership may not exceed twenty-five percent (25%);
5. All applying individuals or entities must be registered to conduct business in the state of Oklahoma;
6. All applicants must disclose all ownership;
7. Applicant(s) with only nonviolent felony conviction(s) in the last two (2) years, any other felony conviction in 5 (years), inmates, or any person currently incarcerated may not qualify for a commercial grower license.

C. A licensed commercial grower may sell cannabis to a licensed retailer, or a licensed packager. Further, these sales will be considered wholesale sales and not subject to taxation. Under no circumstances may a licensed commercial grower sell cannabis directly to a medical cannabis license holder. A licensed commercial grower may only sell at the wholesale level to a licensed retailer or a licensed processor. If the federal government lifts restrictions on buying and selling cannabis between states, then a licensed commercial grower would be allowed to sell and buy cannabis wholesale from, or to, an out of state wholesale provider. A licensed commercial grower will be required to complete a monthly yield and sales report to the Oklahoma Department of Health. This report will be due on the 15th of each month and provide reporting on the previous month. This report will detail amount of cannabis harvested in pounds, the amount of drying or dried cannabis on hand, the amount of cannabis sold to processors in pounds, the amount of waste in pounds, and the amount of cannabis sold to retailers in lbs. Additionally, this report will show total wholesale sales in dollars. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will have oversight and auditing responsibilities to ensure that all cannabis being grown is accounted for. A licensed grower will only be subject to a penalty if a gross discrepancy exists and cannot be explained. Penalties for fraudulent reporting or sales occurring within any 2 year time period will be an initial fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) (first) and revocation of licensing (second).

D. There shall be no limits on how much cannabis a licensed grower can grow.

SECTION 4. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 423 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, make available, on their website, in an easy to find location, an application for a medical cannabis processing license. The application fee shall be Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) and methods of payment will be provided on the website. The Oklahoma State Department of Health shall have two (2) weeks to review the application, approve or reject the application, and mail the approval/rejection letter (if rejected, stating reasons for rejection) to the applicant.

B. The Oklahoma State Department of Health must approve all applications which meet the following criteria:
1. Applicant must be age twenty-five (25) or older;
2. Any applicant, applying as an Individual, must show residency in the state of Oklahoma;
3. All applying entities must show that all members, managers, and board members are Oklahoma residents;
4. An applying entity may show ownership of non-Oklahoma residents, but that percentage ownership may not exceed twenty-five percent (25%);
5. All applying individuals or entities must be registered to conduct business in the state of Oklahoma;
6. All applicants must disclose all ownership;
7. Applicant(s) with only nonviolent felony conviction(s) in the last two (2) years, any other felony conviction in 5 (years), inmates, or any person currently incarcerated may not qualify for a medical cannabis processing license.

C. A licensed processor may take cannabis plants and distill or process these plants into concentrates, edibles, and other forms for consumption. As required by subsection D of this section, the Oklahoma State Department of Health will, within sixty (60) days of passage of this initiative, make available a set of standards which will be used by licensed processors in the preparation of edible cannabis products. This should be in line with current food preparation guidelines and no excessive or punitive rules may be established by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Once a year, the Oklahoma State Department of Health may inspect a processing operation and determine its compliance with the preparation standards. If deficiencies are found, a written report of deficiency will be issued to the processor. The processor will have one (1) month to correct the deficiency or be subject to a fine of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for each deficiency. A licensed processor may sell cannabis products it creates to a licensed retailer, or any other licensed processor. Further, these sales will be considered wholesale sales and not subject to taxation. Under no circumstances may a licensed processor sell cannabis, or any cannabis product, directly to a medical cannabis license holder. However, a licensed processor may process cannabis into a concentrated form, for a medical license holder, for a fee. Processors will be required to complete a monthly yield and sales report to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. This report will be due on the 15th of each month and provide reporting on the previous month. This report will detail amount of cannabis purchased in pounds, the amount of cannabis cooked or processed in pounds, and the amount of waste in pounds. Additionally, this report will show total wholesale sales in dollars. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will have oversight and auditing responsibilities to ensure that all cannabis being grown is accounted for. A licensed processor will only be subject to a penalty if a gross discrepancy exists and cannot be explained. Penalties for fraudulent reporting occurring within any 2 year time period will be an initial fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) (first) and revocation of licensing (second).

D. The inspection and compliance of processors producing products with cannabis as an additive. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will be compelled to, within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, appoint a board of twelve (12) Oklahoma residents, who are cannabis industry experts, to create a list of food safety standards for processing and handling medical cannabis in Oklahoma. These standards will be adopted by the agency and the agency can enforce these standards for processors. The agency will develop a standards review procedure and these standards can be altered by calling another board of twelve (12) Oklahoma cannabis industry experts. A signed letter of twenty (20) operating processors would constitute a need for a new board and standard review.

E. If it becomes permissible, under federal law, cannabis may be moved across state lines.

F. Any device used for the consumption of medical cannabis shall be considered legal to be sold, manufactured, distributed, and possessed. No merchant, wholesaler, manufacturer, or individual may unduly be harassed or prosecuted for selling, manufacturing, or possession of medical cannabis paraphernalia.

SECTION 5. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 424 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. A cannabis transportation license will be issued to qualifying applicants for a cannabis retail, growing, or processing license. The transportation license will be issued at the time of approval of a retail, growing, or processing license.

B. A transportation license will allow the holder to transport cannabis from an Oklahoma licensed medical cannabis retailer, licensed growing facility, or licensed processor facility to an Oklahoma licensed medical cannabis retailer, licensed growing facility, or licensed processing facility.

C. All cannabis or cannabis products shall be transported in a locked container and clearly labeled “Medical Marijuana or Derivative”.

SECTION 6. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 425 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. No school or landlord may refuse to enroll or lease to and may not otherwise penalize a person solely for his status as a medical cannabis license holder, unless failing to do so would imminently cause the school or landlord to lose a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations.

B. Unless a failure to do so would cause an employer to imminently lose a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations, an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination or imposing any term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person based upon either:
1. The person's status as a medical cannabis license holder; or
2. Employers may take action against a holder of a medical cannabis license holder if the holder uses or possesses cannabis while in the holder's place of employment or during the hours of employment. Employers may not take action against the holder of a medical cannabis license solely based upon the status of an employee as a medical cannabis license holder or the results of a drug test showing positive for cannabis or its components.

C. For the purposes of medical care, including organ transplants, a medical cannabis license holder’s authorized use of cannabis must be considered the equivalent of the use of any other medication under the direction of a physician and does not constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify a registered qualifying patient from medical care.

D. No medical cannabis license holder may be denied custody of or visitation or parenting time with a minor, and there is no presumption of neglect or child endangerment for conduct allowed under this law, unless the person's behavior creates an unreasonable danger to the safety of the minor.

E. No person holding a medical cannabis license may unduly be withheld from holding a state issued license by virtue of their being a medical cannabis license holder. This would include such things as a concealed carry permit.

F. No city or local municipality may unduly change or restrict zoning laws to prevent the opening of a retail cannabis establishment.

G. The location of any retail cannabis establishment is specifically prohibited within one thousand (1,000) feet from any public or private school entrance.

H. Research will be provided under this law. A researcher may apply to the Oklahoma Department of Health for a special research license. That license will be granted, provided the applicant meet the criteria listed under Section 421. B. Research license holders will be required to file monthly consumption reports to the Oklahoma Department of Health with amounts of cannabis used for research.

SECTION 7. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 426 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. The tax on retail medical cannabis sales will be established at seven percent (7%) of the gross amount received by the seller.

B. This tax will be collected at the point of sale. Tax proceeds will be applied primarily to finance the regulatory office.

C. If proceeds from the levy authorized by subsection A of this section exceed the budgeted amount for running the regulatory office, any surplus shall be apportioned with seventy-five percent (75%) going to the General Revenue Fund and may only be expended for common education. Twenty-five percent (25%) shall be apportioned to the Oklahoma State Department of Health and earmarked for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

SECTION 8. The provisions hereof are severable, and if any part or provision hereof shall be void, invalid, or unconstitutional, the decision of the court so holding shall not affect or impair any of the remaining parts or provision hereof, and the remaining provisions hereof shall continue in full force and effect.



No comments:

Post a Comment