Oklahomans overwhelmingly accredited a measure final summer time to legalize medical marijuana. Now the therapy is in overwhelming demand.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) said this week that, as of Monday, it has accredited 146,381 licenses for sufferers to obtain medicinal cannabis, together with 958 licenses granted to caregivers. As well as, the company has accredited 3,397 licenses for growers, 1,605 licenses for dispensaries and 905 licenses for processors.  

To place these numbers in a barely totally different perspective: OMMA has enrolled greater than 3.5% of the state’s complete inhabitants as sufferers. In keeping with the Tulsa World, the state’s participation price locations it close to the highest among the many 33 states within the nation which have legalized medical cannabis

It’s additionally considerably increased than what state officers anticipated for the primary yr of this system. After the poll measure was handed final June, the World reported, officers anticipated that roughly 80,000 sufferers could be registered within the opening yr.

Karen O’Keefe, the director of state insurance policies for the Marijuana Coverage Mission, informed the newspaper that she believes Oklahoma “has among the many finest medical marijuana applications within the nation when it comes to sufferers having reduction rapidly with no bunch of hurdles they and their physicians have to leap by way of.”

“I believe it helped there was a noncompetitive software course of,” O’Keefe mentioned. “You don’t have the federal government deciding what number of pharmacies can function. For probably the most half, we let the free market resolve.”

Oklahoma voters greenlit this system a yr in the past after they accredited State Query 788 by a 57%-43% margin. However important disagreements within the legislature adopted, and threatened the breadth of the state’s medical cannabis program. Weeks after the vote, the Oklahoma Board of Well being accredited guidelines that may have forbade the sale of smokable marijuana merchandise at dispensaries, and would have additionally required a licensed pharmacist to be current on the dispensaries. 

Proponents of State Query 788 protested, arguing that voters supported the measure with the understanding that smokable pot could be accessible for prescription. Jason Lowe, a Democrat within the Oklahoma state home, mentioned that the Division of Well being had “enacted legislation that undermines some of the participated in elections in state historical past and silences the voice of Oklahomans throughout this state.” 

The criticism and specter of lawsuits might have been what prompted Mary Fallin, then the state’s Republican governor, to finally signal a revised algorithm that didn’t ban smokable merchandise or require an on-site pharmacist.

The legislation permits Oklahomans aged 18 and older to use for a license with Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority after receiving a word from their physician; upon approval, sufferers should pay about $100 for the license.