Oklahoma Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS OKLAHOMA'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Content Below Last Updated by Point7 04/10/2022
A group of legalization proponents kicked off 2022 by filing a ballot initiative to legalize adult-use cannabis in Oklahoma for individuals 21 and over. The bill would allow purchasers to carry up to one ounce of cannabis, consumers the ability to cultivate up to six mature cannabis plants at their residence, and would impose a 15% excise tax on cannabis recreational sales. However there are large aspects of the bill that overlook regulatory processes.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives Republican Caucus has stated how they plan to address the issues that the state of Oklahoma has had with their medical cannabis industry.
The House has stated that they will be cleaning up the state's cannabis industry with a series of bills. In these bills will be a 12 point plan of action that includes the following:
- Making the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority a standalone agency;
- A grant program for county sheriff’s departments to fund law enforcement efforts in every county (HB 3530);
- Full implementation of a seed to sale system (either via court order or new legislation);
- Provisional licensing requiring pre-license inspections and increased document submission prior to approval (HB 3734);
- Tiered grow license fees based on grow size (HB 2179);
- Separate licensing for medical marijuana wholesalers (HB 3634);
- All medical marijuana businesses to post standardized permit signage at the place of business (HB 2025);
- Stringent electrical and water data reporting by marijuana growers (HB 4055);
- Annual inspections (HB 2024);
- Product packaging standards and maximum beyond use dates (HB 3019; HB 4288);
- Standardized laboratory testing and equipment (HB 4056); and
- Marijuana grows to register as environmentally sensitive crop owners with the Agriculture Department (HB 3827)
WHAT ARE OKLAHOMA’S CURRENT CANNABIS LAWS?Cannabis is legal for medical use with a state-issued license, but illegal for recreational use in Oklahoma. Before medical cannabis was legalized in 2015, lawmakers legalized CBD oils with small amounts of THC for medical purposes. After much debate and difficulty amongst Ohio legislators, the issues of legalizing medical cannabis appeared on the 2018 ballot as a referendum. The referendum, also known as State Question 788, passed, making medical cannabis legal in the state of Oklahoma and license applications opened on August 25, 2018.
WHAT IS OKLAHOMA'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?The application process is now open for Cultivators, Processors, Dispensaries, and Delivery license types for the medical cannabis industry in Oklahoma. Currently, Oklahoma has more than 10,000 active licenses for growers, processors, and dispensaries, however a 2021 bill placed a cap on the number of licenses and now it is capped at 8,000: 2,000 dispensary licenses, 1,000 processor licenses, and 5,000 culinary licenses. This license cap will remain in effect until September 2023.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN OKLAHOMA?
Cannabis has had a long history of being illegal in Oklahoma up until recent years. In 2014, there was an attempt to put the issue of legalizing medical cannabis on the ballot, but ultimately the efforts failed. By 2015, selling CBD oil with small amounts of THC became legal and the consumption of these products became very popular. An activist group called Green the Vote started a petition to place medical cannabis legalization on the 2016 ballot. After arguments and changes to semantics of the initiative, it was pushed to appear on the 2018 ballot as a referendum initiative.
The referendum, also known as State Question 788, passed, making medical cannabis legal in the state of Oklahoma and license applications opened on August 25, 2018. However, there was some pushback from the Oklahoma Board of Health, who banned dispensaries from selling smokable cannabis products and required pharmacists to be on-site at dispensaries. Within the same month, Oklahoma City adopted a “simple possession” rule which lowered punishment for possession of cannabis to a small fine instead of jail time.
After the legalization of medical cannabis in Oklahoma, the cannabis industry in the state is booming. According to OklahomaWatch, Oklahoma is the lead in dispensaries per capita amongst other medical cannabis states with 56 per 100,000 residents. Cannabis sales reached $345 million in 2019, and the state made $55 million in tax revenue.
A ballot measure called the New Approach is currently on track to appear on the November 2022 ballot. This measure would allow adults 21 and over to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to six mature plants and six seedlings for personal use, as well as impose a 15% excise tax on adult-use cannabis products..
DOES OKLAHOMA HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
PREPARING FOR THE OKLAHOMA CANNABIS MARKET
We are ready to support your team as you prepare for cannabis licensure in Oklahoma. Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.