Choctaw Nation Tribal Council Holds Special Session to Amend Public Health and Safety Code

OKLAHOMA:The Choctaw Nation Tribal Council held a Special Session on April 20, 2021, and voted to amend its Public Health and Safety Code regarding medical marijuana. The amendment will be automatically repealed on Nov. 13, 2021, and other legislation will be adopted. The amendment passed by an 11-1 vote.

Following the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruling in the Sizemore case, applying the McGirt decision to the Choctaw Nation reservation, state-issued medical marijuana cards or business licenses were not recognized by the Choctaw Nation laws. Without an amendment, Native Americans in possession of a valid state medical marijuana license, within the Choctaw Nation reservation, could have been arrested and charged for marijuana-related offenses in tribal court. In November, Tribal Council will pass a new code covering medicinal marijuana or an extension of this temporary measure, otherwise the permitted use of medicinal marijuana within the Choctaw Reservation will expire.

In discussion of the amendment, Tribal Council indicated that their intent is to research this issue further and propose better rules and regulations concerning medical marijuana for Native Americans within the Choctaw Nation reservation that minimize misuse of medical marijuana.

For more information on the Choctaw Nation Tribal Council, including the full text of the measures passed in the session, please visit https://www.choctawnation.com/government/tribal-council/council-meetings-and-bills.

Oklahoma: New OMMA Director Named

OKLAHOMA:  Oklahoma State Department of Health Commissioner Lance Frye is naming Dr. Kelly Williams the Director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. Williams is a lifelong Oklahoman with a Psychology degree from Oklahoma City University and both a Masters and PhD in Quantitative Psychology from the University Of Oklahoma. Prior to joining the state, she was Oklahoma City University’s Institutional Research Director.

Dr. Williams joined the OMMA in February of 2020 as Deputy Director and was named Interim Director in August. Her background in analytics has helped to make the agency highly productive in an ever changing industry. She has increased compliance activity with the advent of the Quality Assurance Lab and the recently announced Seed to Sale tracking system that will be implemented in the coming month.

“We are working on a variety of initiatives to address industry, patient, and regulator concerns. In the year I have spent at OMMA, I have been learning about the agency and the industry in order to set some goals for the agency and to move it forward.” Dr. Williams added, ”I work with a wonderful team that is deeply committed to patient safety.”

Dr. Williams follows former Director Travis Kirkpatrick, who now serves as a Deputy Commissioner of Health. He also praised Dr. Williams and her ability; “This program has seen exponential positive growth and change which I know will continue under Dr. Williams’ direction. I trust her leadership skills to work with the talented staff and implement the changes necessary to balance public safety and business continuity as we take the next transformative step forward for the nearly 400,000 licensees we serve.”

Oklahoma: New OMMA Emergency Rules Now In Effect

OKLAHOMA: New emergency rules for all Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Agency businesses and patients have gone into effect Oct. 15, 2020. The rules have been signed by the Governor.

The new emergency rules contain changes for reporting, testing standards and the contents of the laboratory Certificates of Analysis. The rules and a summary are available on the OMMA website. The rules reflect our latest efforts to help build a safer industry for businesses and patients in our state

The new rules are effective immediately and can be found at https://omma.ok.gov/rules-regulations.

Metrc Awarded Oklahoma Seed To Sale Contract

OKLAHOMA: The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has signed a contract with Metrc, a national company in 14 states, for the implementation of a statewide seed-to-sale tracking system. The contract creates a system to track marijuana plants and products from a plant’s growth stage through sale to patients. It serves as part of OMMA’s larger efforts to ensure accountability and safety within the state’s medical marijuana industry.

OSDH Names Twelve Member Medical Marijuana Food Safety Standards Board –

OMMA Interim Director Dr. Kelly Williams said “The seed-to-sale system will greatly expand our compliance capabilities and improve the effectiveness and speed of any future recall efforts. It will also allow us to detect unusual patterns that may indicate product diversion.”

Metrc offers integration features with many seed-to-sale software systems used at an individual-level by licensees, and all commercial licensees in the state will be required to either integrate with or input their information into the state’s seed-to-sale system.

Dr. Williams added, “We know that businesses will have many questions in the coming weeks, and we will answer them as quickly as possible.” OMMA will also keep the public updated as the system is implemented. It is expected to take up to six months.

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Names New Director

OKLAHOMA:  The deputy director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will serve as interim director of the authority, officials announced Friday.

Kelly Williams replaces Travis Kirkpatrick, who was recently named deputy commissioner of prevention and preparedness at the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Kirkpatrick, who will oversee the OMMA from his new position, chose Williams for the interim post. Kirkpatrick had been named director of the authority in January after serving as interim director for about three months.

“This is a young agency and we have seen massive growth over the past two years,” Williams said in a statement. “I look forward to the challenges and the rewards of growing the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority into an agency that will make Oklahomans proud.”

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Says No To Pot Slushy Machines

OKLAHOMA: The OMMA has received multiple inquiries regarding the processing and dispensing of marijuana-infused slushies on-site at medical marijuana dispensaries.  It is the OMMA’s position that marijuana-infused slushies are unlikely to meet requirements set forth in Oklahoma statutes and rules, including, but not limited to:  

  • All products must be in child-resistant packages. Generally, this means the package must be difficult for a 5-year-old to open; opaque; and, if intended for multiple uses (for example, containing multiple servings), capable of being resealed while remaining child-resistant. [See 63 O.S. 427.2 and OAC 310:681-1-4]
  • The medical marijuana production batch that must be tested is the finished product. In this instance, the finished product is the slushy mixture to be dispensed to patients/caregivers, not the syrup. If water, ice, or any other substance is added to the product, additional testing is required to ensure the product is safe for consumption and final-product labeling is accurate.  [See OAC 310:681-1-4 and OAC 310:681, Subchapters 7 and 8]
  •  Dispensaries are not allowed to alter, package, or label products. In addition, dispensaries must refuse to accept or return any medical marijuana products that have not been properly tested, packaged, and labeled by a licensed processor. [See OAC 310:681-1-4 and OAC 310:681-7-1(b)]

Additionally, slushies are considered food products and must be compliant with the Oklahoma State Department of Health food regulations. For more information, please visit the  OSDH Consumer Health Service Food website.

Oklahoma Mandatory Marijuana Products Testing To Begin July 1st

OKLAHOMA: Beginning July 1st, all marijuana product sold by a grower or processor will be required to be tested by an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) licensed laboratory.

The mandatory testing requirements were created by the Oklahoma Legislature and went into effect on Nov 1st, 2019. Since that time, the OMMA has been creating the rules and guidelines under the guidance of Laboratory Oversight Manager Lee Rhodes.

The OMMA has ten fully licensed laboratories in the state. There are many more in different stages of the licensing process. A fully licensed lab will have not only a license from OMMA but have been inspected by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

Current requirements include:

  • Any dispensary customer may request the certificate of analysis from the dispensary. The document can be kept in either a paper or electronic format.
  • A processor or grower shall retain test results and related records for at least two years.

A list of the fully licensed labs can be found on the OMMA website.

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Sets April 1, 2020 Laboratory Deadline

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority

OKLAHOMA: Beginning April 1st, all marijuana product sold by a grower or processor will be required to be tested by an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) licensed laboratory.

The mandatory testing requirements were created by the Oklahoma Legislature and went into effect on Nov 1st, 2019. Since that time, the OMMA has been creating the rules and guidelines under the guidance of Laboratory Oversight Manager Lee Rhodes.

The OMMA has ten fully licensed laboratories in the state. There are many more in different stages of the licensing process. A fully licensed lab will have not only a license from OMMA but have been inspected by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

Current requirements include:

  • Any dispensary customer may request the certificate of analysis from the dispensary. The document can be kept in either a paper or electronic format.
  • A processor or grower shall retain test results and related records for at least two years.

A list of the fully licensed labs can be found on the OMMA website.

Kirkpatrick Named Director Of Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority

OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma native Travis Kirkpatrick is the new director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. Kirkpatrick has served as interim director for the last 90 days. Health Commissioner Gary Cox said he made the decision based on Kirkpatrick’s leadership at the authority over the last few months.

“We are excited about the leadership of Travis and his focus on being an efficient and effective organization that serves the citizens of the state,” said Cox. “During his three months, Kirkpatrick has reopened the call center, which is now handling approximately 300 calls a day, hired a compliance manager to ensure the dispensaries across the state are in compliance with state laws, and worked to open the lines of communication with the business community and the patients.”

Kirkpatrick praised the staff for its passion and dedication saying “that is something that drives me every day as I seek to innovate and lead us toward the goals we have been provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health leadership and the Governor. My goal is to continue to work with the patients, dispensary owners and growers as this authority meets the guidelines set out by the voters and by the Legislature.”

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority was created by a vote of the people, July 26, 2018.  The state question allowed for both licenses to sell and to purchase medical marijuana with a physician’s certification. Additional regulatory authority was written into the “unity bill” passed by the legislature just months before Kirkpatrick’s arrival. There are currently more than 246,000 patient, caregiver, grower, processor, dispensary, and transportation licenses for marijuana in Oklahoma, all handled by OMMA.

Oklahoma State Senate Rules Committee Sends Medical Marijuana ‘Unity’ Bill To Full Senate

Rules committee sends medical marijuana ‘Unity’ bill to full Senate

OKLAHOMA: The Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to send the legislation known as the Unity Bill to the full Senate for approval. Sen. Greg McCortney is the chair of the Rules Committee and Senate principal author of House Bill 2612, creating the safety and regulatory framework necessary for Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry after voters approved State Question 788 last June. The measure has already been approved by the House.

The legislation is the result of work by a bipartisan, bicameral task force co-chaired by McCortney, which began meeting last summer to tackle many of the regulatory issues not directly addressed in the state question, including testing and labeling, work place safety issues, employer and employee rights.

McCortney, R-Ada, stressed HB 2612 ensures the will of the people as expressed with the passage of S.Q. 788.

“I want to stress that the statute that came out of the vote of the people is still 100 percent intact, 100 percent in law,” McCortney said. “This builds on top of that language in 788 so that we will have regulatory framework that addresses the safety and logistical issues pertaining to the medical marijuana industry now in our state. Whether it is the health and well-being of those choosing this type of medication or issues related to extraction and manufacturing of the product, safety has been our utmost concern throughout this process.”

McCortney said the earliest HB 2612 could come to the floor for a vote would be next Monday. He said additional trailer bills will follow to address specific issues not detailed in the Unity Bill, including clarifying the authority cities and counties have, such as zoning issues.