Oklahoma group submits signatures for adult-use marijuana legalization

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An Oklahoma group aiming to get an adult-use marijuana market legalized through a statewide vote in November submitted more than 164,000 signatures to the secretary of state.

Facing an Aug. 1 deadline, the group submitted nearly 70,000 more votes than necessary to qualify for the ballot, the Associated Press reported.

Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws officials said the extra signatures and early submission would make it more difficult for legalization opponents to disqualify the measure, known as State Question 820, according to the AP.

A second measure – State Question 819 – that would legalize cannabis through a constitutional amendment is expected to also make the November ballot.

Key business highlights of State Question 820 include:

  • A 15% excise tax on adult-use marijuana sales.
  • Having the existing Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority regulate the recreational and medical markets.
  • Local governments could not prohibit or limit the number of marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions, but they could regulate when and where those companies operate.
  • Restricting business licenses to established medical marijuana licensees for the first two years.

Supporters of State Question 819 must collect 177,957 valid signatures to get onto the ballot.

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The signature threshold for SQ 820 was lower because it is a statutory change that lawmakers can amend, while SQ 819 faces a higher baseline because it is a constitutional amendment that is harder to change.

New York-based Drug Policy Action (an arm of Drug Policy Alliance) and Washington DC-headquartered New Approach Advocacy Fund combined to contribute $70,000 of funding toward the Oklahoma effort, the Associated Press reported.