That's right: Oklahoma medical cannabis regulations have adjusted once again. The Oklahoma House in February approved the extension of duration for non-resident medical marijuana cardholders in the State. By a majority vote of 52-32, the OK house approved the extension of the non-resident cards from the previous thirty days to two years, starting November 1st, 2021.

Another exciting provision of this House Bill 2022 proposed by Rep. Scott Fetgatter is that it opens up non-resident medical marijuana cards to residents of all 50 states. This is contrary to the current position where only those who are holders of medical marijuana licenses from states with existing medical marijuana programs can apply for an Oklahoma non-resident license to purchase, use, or grow medical marijuana in the state.

Oklahoma medical cannabis

How This Impacts Oklahoma Medical Cannabis

While describing how vital these provisions are, Rep. Scott Fetgatter stated that “there are patients out there that need longer opportunities, whether they have cancer or some other medical issue, so I felt it was necessary just to extend that out, so they’re not having to constantly renew that license.”

Similarly, on the same day, the House approved House Bill 2023. When it is implemented, it will allow owners of medical marijuana businesses to transfer their licenses to others where there is a change of ownership. However, there have been some concerns about this particular Bill. For instance, Rep. Tommy Hardin expressed his concern that this freedom to transfer licenses could potentially give room for local monopolies by some medical marijuana businesses who may decide to get licenses from other companies.  

According to him, “We live in a free-market world. Businesses change hands all the time. I don’t know why, all of a sudden, it’s just a concern about who may or may not come to purchase a marijuana business.”

However, it is essential to state that the Senate has not yet approved both bills. Thus, the current position of 30 days still stands pending the approval by the Senate and Governor Kevin Stitt’s signature for it to become law.

How Do You Qualify for the Non-Resident Medical Marijuana Card?

For a non-resident to qualify for the non-resident medical marijuana card in Oklahoma, he/she needs to:

a.      Get approval from an Oklahoma doctor.

b.     Pay $200 for the license that the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority must approve.

What Does This Mean for the Future of Oklahoma Medical Cannabis Business?

When the Bill becomes law, it can be highly beneficial to marijuana businesses in Oklahoma. One obvious benefit is that it will increase the economic activities in the State. Oklahoma already allows residents to apply for their medical cards online, and now non-residents can apply for medical cards in the state.

No doubt, this is widening the scope of patients who can access medical marijuana in the state. By extension, there would also be an increase in demand for marijuana products. This may also impact the level of cultivation in the state. Currently, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has issued quite a handful of marijuana business licenses, and when this law goes into effect, these will only increase.

Oklahoma is good for the cannabis business as the conditions are relatively favorable. The requirements include:

a. Payment of a license fee of $2,500.

b. Be a resident, or you must have been living in the state for a minimum of 2 years.

c.  Do not have a criminal record.

d. Take some regulatory courses and training.

Thus, if the Senate approves the Bill, non-resident entrepreneurs can also take advantage of these requirements, making it easy for them to set up in the state.

Impacting More than Oklahoma Medical Cannabis: What does this Bill mean for Residents of Other States?

What it Means for Residents of Texas

Oklahoma already has a broader range of qualifying conditions, unlike Texas, with a more restrictive list of qualifying conditions. Thus, residents of Texas may take advantage of these non-resident medical marijuana cards. However, Texas residents can only take advantage of this provision to the extent that they use medical cannabis within Oklahoma. Texas has a very restricted medical cannabis program, and the State does not have any reciprocal agreement with Oklahoma. So, Texas residents cannot purchase cannabis from Oklahoma to take to Texas because it remains an offense under Texas state laws. The degree of penalty depends on the amount found in your possession.

What it Means for Residents of Arkansas

Quite a handful of restrictions exist on the use of medical cannabis in Arkansas. The penalties are a bit strict as well. For instance, possession of fewer than four ounces could attract a fine of up to $2,500 and a one-year jail term. A reciprocal agreement existed between Arkansas and Oklahoma before. It was introduced to tackle the difficulties Arkansas experienced in retaining cultivators who could produce the volume of cannabis needed by medical marijuana cardholders.

The state rescinded the reciprocal agreement, and Arkansas patients are expected to buy medical cannabis grown and processed in AR. This repeal means that you cannot cross states to buy from Oklahoma and return to Arkansas, as this would be an offense.

What is the General Implication of the House Bill 2022?

The significant impact of House Bill 2022 is that as a non-resident, the state can issue you a medical card to purchase and use Oklahoma medical cannabis. Whether or not you can legally use this marijuana in your state depends on the existence of a reciprocal agreement between your state and Oklahoma. However, the general position remains that crossing a state border when possessing a controlled substance is still a felony offense. 

How Can Elevate-Holistics Help?

Elevate Holistics is your one-stop shop for all matters related to obtaining MMJ cards and Oklahoma medical cannabis. We have a team of experienced practitioners that dedicate themselves to making the process of obtaining your medical marijuana card effortless. We understand how important access to medical marijuana can be for managing specific conditions. 

Elevate Holistics works directly with OK residents to help you get the Oklahoma medical cannabis you deserve. Through our services, you get this access in the easiest way possible. Book an appointment with us down below, and get started on your health and wellness journey.