As per the new law, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will cease processing applications received for new licenses sought by prospective medical cannabis growers, processors and dispensary operators. The moratorium begins on August 1, 2020 and is anticipated to remain in place through August 2024.
Commenting on the coming moratorium, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Rather than embracing Oklahoma’s robust medical cannabis industry, politicians have instead sought to abruptly tap the breaks. This legislation is largely a solution in search of a problem and it is directly in conflict with the ‘free market’ principles so often espoused by those elected officials on the right side of the aisle.”
Voters in 2018 approved a statewide ballot initiative permitting the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to those with a physician’s authorization. Following the vote, lawmakers sought to impose a series of restrictions to limit the size and scope of the program. However, those restrictions were later rescinded after concerns that they were likely unconstitutional.
As of January, over 386,000 Oklahomans — slightly less than ten percent of the state’s total population — were registered with the state to access medical cannabis products. As a result, the state currently has more licensed cannabis businesses per capita than any other medical-only jurisdiction.