Cannabis advocates in Oklahoma have filed ballot initiatives for 2022 to legalize adult-use cannabis and replace the current medical cannabis oversight agency, the Tulsa World reports. Jed Green, co-founder for Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action, said the petitions are necessary because he doesn’t see the reforms making it through the legislative process “any time soon.”
Green said a new oversight agency for the state’s medical cannabis program would ensure independent supervision of the program which would “increase transparency and create a structure that could be functional.” Currently, the state Health Department oversees medical cannabis in Oklahoma.
“When decisions are being made about how funds are being spent, … you have to go to either the commissioner of health or the governor to understand the decisions that are being made,” You can try to have conversations and be productive with [Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority] directors, but at the end of the day they’re having talks that you’re not in the room for. And they’re making decisions that are not in line with the industry, and it’s tough. We have all the reason to believe the governor is not going to sign off on a new state agency if it makes it through the Senate.” — Green to the World
The petition, called the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Enforcement and Anti-Corruption Act, would amend the state constitution to create the Oklahoma State Cannabis Commission within a year. The Health Department would, at the discretion of the newly created agency’s board, retain its oversight power on food permits and safety issues with cannabis products, the report says.
The adult-use petition would allow cannabis possession and use by adults 21-and-older and legalize sales in the state. Individuals would be allowed to possess up to 8 ounces of cannabis purchased from retailers and grow up to 12 plants in their homes, which would not count toward the 8-ounce limit, according to the World. The proposal also includes expungement and judicial reviews of cannabis-related convictions. The measure would tax retail cannabis sales at 15% while reducing the tax on medical cannabis sales to 0% within a year.
Under the proposal, extra funds from both the medical and retail programs would go toward cannabis research, water resources, and eight hours of training for law enforcement officers on the legal status of cannabis.
The campaign needs to collect about 178,000 valid signatures to put the issue to voters next year.
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