Following in the footsteps of California, Washington and Colorado, Oklahoma became the 30th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana in June of 2018. Since the passing of SQ 788, Oklahoma’s medical marijuana market has become one of the fastest-growing in the country.
In the first year, over 7,300 medical marijuana business licenses were issued by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA); with 1,800 of those applications for medical marijuana dispensaries alone.
The OMMA is responsible for processing applications for any medical marijuana business in the state and as such, has a very involved and lengthy application process. Should an application be filed that does not meet the specific requirements in their entirety, the application is denied and the associated $2,500 fee is forfeited.
When starting a medical marijuana business in Oklahoma, it is best to have an experienced resource on your side in the form of a medical marijuana attorney.
What Is a Medical Marijuana Attorney?
Aside from the fact that Oklahoma’s legal cannabis industry is in its infancy, ultimately any grower, processor, dispensary or transporter is, at its core, a business. As with any other industry, it is advised that when starting a business one enlists the expertise of a knowledgeable business lawyer.
A medical marijuana attorney is just that, a business lawyer well versed in all the latest developments in the field of cannabis law. They have studied the medical marijuana legal environments of their states and have kept their finger on the pulse of cannabis law nationwide in order to keep their client’s medical marijuana businesses compliant.
Must-Haves For Medical Marijuana Businesses
One may think filing for a medical marijuana business license would be a simple process. However, the amount of red tape, documents and legal jargon involved make this assumption far from the truth.
Every application for a business license processed through the OMMA is required to:
- Provide documentation of a Trade Name/DBA
- Meet residency requirements
- Submit a certificate of compliance for each location intended to store product
- Provide proof your property line is more than 1,000′ from the entrance to any public or private school
In addition to the aforementioned, medical marijuana businesses must also prove that every critical party (directors, investors, store owners, etc.) meet basic licensing requirements such as being over 25 years of age and pass extensive background checks.
Other requirements if planning to open a dispensary include registering with tax authorities and the Oklahoma Secretary of State. There is a handling license needed before receiving medical-legal cannabis. You apply for this license with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
Applicants must not only meet these specific Oklahoma medical marijuana compliance laws but also adhere to all general business license requirements as well.
The application and renewal process is lengthy, time consuming, complicated and overwhelming for the inexperienced. Therefore tasking an experienced and capable medical marijuana attorney to handle these types of business transactions is highly encouraged.
Oklahoma Marijuana Laws
In Oklahoma, more than 5% of the population has a medical marijuana patient license. Due to the fast-growing and profitable market, Oklahoma marijuana laws can be unique.
As of April 2021, Oklahoma finished implementing a new business system called Metrc. Metrc allows real-time tracking of products through an integrated compliance system.
To follow OMMA’s reporting requirements, licensees will provide inventory tracking via Metrc. Breaking compliance laws will be costly, a dispensary’s first offense will incur a minimum of $5,000 in fines.
Within two years, a second offense can result in the license being revoked entirely.
It is up to the licensed dispensaries to ensure they are selling only to medical patients with a valid medical marijuana patient license. It is against cannabis laws to sell medical marijuana to out-of-state persons.
A variety of medical marijuana products can be sold at licensed Oklahoma dispensaries. Under current laws, seedlings and plants, as well as edibles and concentrates are legal.
There are limits to how much medical marijuana a dispensary can sell. In a single transaction, Tulsa legal cannabis sold cannot exceed 3 oz of usable product, 1 oz of concentrated product, or 72 oz of product in total.
Oklahoma’s marijuana law states the packaging for medical marijuana must have warnings for child safety. The packaging may not be attractive to minors or resemble candy in any way. Additionally, it must meet child safety requirements.
Why You Need a Medical Marijuana Attorney
If your goal is to own, operate, and run a medical marijuana business, don’t let failure to meet the state’s licensing requirements be the reason you don’t succeed.
Oklahoma’s cannabis laws are evolving and staying on top of them is arduous. Trust a medical marijuana attorney versed in the very latest cannabis law developments to navigate such convoluted processes while you focus on running your business.
A medical marijuana attorney is not only helpful for the initiation of a medical marijuana business but also the ongoing counsel needed to run a successful operation in the long-term. When it comes to inspections or audits with little to no notice, you can count on your legal advisor for guidance.
What Can Norwood Law Firm Do for Your Medical Marijuana Business?
Medical marijuana businesses in Tulsa trust the experienced team that has been advising clients on cannabis law since the beginning, Norwood Law Firm.
As quoted in Marijuana Business Daily, Joe Norwood said, “Oklahoma did medical marijuana like we started our state…Everyone just lined up, the starting gun was shot off, and people went and started staking their claims.”
With the legalization of medical marijuana being so new to the state, there are many growing pains and changes as regulators and business stakeholders try to find their footing in this budding industry. As such, one of the only things each can count on when it comes to Oklahoma marijuana laws is change.
Norwood Law knows how to navigate those changes, cut through red-tape and see around the corners business owners don’t have the time, patience or resources to.
Contact Norwood Law Firm to discuss your medical marijuana business needs today.