Health panel OKs medical marijuana, but no smoking - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Health panel OKs medical marijuana, but no smoking

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Medical marijuana dispensaries will not be permitted to sell products that can be smoked. (Pixabay) Medical marijuana dispensaries will not be permitted to sell products that can be smoked. (Pixabay)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma is pushing ahead on medical marijuana after local voters approved one of least restrictive laws in the U.S., with the state health department approving emergency rules aimed at fast-tracking the industry into business.

But the health department on Tuesday also tacked on two requirements that medical marijuana advocates say will only slow things down with legal wrangling.

The Oklahoma Board of Health said the state won't allow the sale of smokable cannabis, and that dispensaries must have a pharmacist on staff. The board's own attorney advised against the additions.

A group of medical professionals that opposed medical marijuana pushed for the stricter guidelines.

But Todd Larkin, who manages Pure Wellness CBD in Ardmore, accused the health panel of turning its back on voters.

"It's just a slap in the face to us," he said. "When we went and voted, people knew that you were gonna have to smoke the plant in some form, and now they just said that doesn't matter."

The state guidelines stipulate that licensed users will only be able to smoke marijuana if they grow the plant themselves.

New Health Solutions Oklahoma, a trade group representing the medical cannabis industry, accused the board of trying to "kneecap" the legalization vote. NHSO executive director Bud Scott urged Gov. Mary Fallin to reject the additional rules.

"If she fails to do so, we are asking every legislator, regardless of how they feel about medical cannabis, to come to the Capitol in a special session and restore the rule of law and the will of the voters," Scott said in a written statement.

Residents in the traditionally conservative state voted to legalize medical marijuana on June 26, with nearly 57 percent of the vote. The law is scheduled to take effect 60 days after approval.

Watch a replay of the health department meeting below; video provided by the State of Oklahoma:

Final draft of medical marijuana emergency rules

KTEN reporter Jackson Boland in Ardmore and editor Walt Zwirko in Denison contributed to this report.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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