Oklahoma House, Senate Leaders Form Medical Marijuana Working Group

Jul 13, 2018

On the heels of Gov. Mary Fallin signing controversial emergency rules for medical marijuana, Oklahoma's top state lawmakers say they will assemble a bipartisan working group to review them.

The working group will involve the governor's office, medical marijuana industry representatives, State Health Department officials, healthcare providers and others.

"The House is committed to implementing the will of our citizens in a responsible way that respects the desire of voters while also protecting public safety and addressing concerns from the business and medical communities," House Speaker Charles McCall said in a statement. "We have many lawmakers who want to be involved in crafting a permanent regulatory framework more in line with what the voters want and expect."

Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Greg Treat said voters spoke loudly by passing State Question 788 last month.

"While the Health Department and its commissioner did yeoman’s work in drafting emergency rules, the Board of Health’s adoption of last-minute amendments without public comments has undermined the public’s confidence in the system," Treat said.

The State Board of Health made two big changes to the health department's proposed rules before passing them Tuesday: allowing medical marijuana to be dispensed only in forms that can't be smoked and requiring pharmacists at dispensaries.

Groups like the Oklahoma State Medical Association pushed for those rules, though it's unclear who wrote the changes the board adopted.

Since Fallin signed the rules Wednesday, at least two groups have filed lawsuits to challenge them.

Members of the working group will be announced next week. No timetable for meetings or recommendations has been set.