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Oklahoma Governor Approves Less Restrictive Medical Marijuana Regulations

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Oklahoma medical marijuana patients will be able to access smokable cannabis products not subject to THC limits under emergency regulations signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday.

Voters decisively approved a ballot measure in June allowing people to access cannabis for medical purposes.

But following Question 788’s approval, with 56.86 percent of voters in favor to 43.14 percent opposed, a first set of proposed rules and regulations devised by the state Board of Health was criticized as too restrictive.

Among the rules proposed last month were a pregnancy test for any women “of childbearing age” seeking medical-marijuana recommendations, a cap on THC limits, a requirement that cannabis be dispensed by a pharmacist and a prohibition on smoking the drug.

Following an uproar and a pair of lawsuits filed challenging the Board of Health’s July 10 proposal, all those restrictions were absent from “very basic” emergency rules sent to Fallin’s desk, which she signed into law on Monday.

Other requirements, including detailed instructions for how the drug would be dispensed, were also removed from the version Fallin signed Monday.

Meanwhile, legislative leaders have convened a bipartisan medical cannabis working group to address implementation issues not covered by the ballot measure or regulations. And activists are working to qualify a broad marijuana legalization ballot measure.

A full accounting of the differences between the new medical cannabis regulations and the initial version can be found at the state’s website here.

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Chris Roberts is a reporter and writer based in San Francisco. He has covered the cannabis industry since 2009, with bylines in the Guardian, Deadspin, Leafly News, The Observer, The Verge, Curbed, Cannabis Now, SF Weekly and others.

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