Oklahoma judge nixes effort to block business-friendly medical cannabis rules

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Oklahoma’s latest medical cannabis rules – which reverted to ones that could potentially provide greater business opportunities for marijuana entrepreneurs – will stay in place after a judge’s decision on a court challenge against them.

Cleveland County District Judge Michael Tupper ruled against a legal petition asking for an emergency injunction on MMJ rules adopted this month.

Tupper said the petitioners, a group of more than a dozen Oklahomans, didn’t show “at this point” that the state Board of Health had overstepped its authority.

Board members first passed rules July 10 but redid them Aug. 1 after Attorney General Mike Hunter said they had overreached by adopting much more restrictive measures than those in the initiative approved by voters in June.

The latest rules:

  • Permit sales of smokable marijuana.
  • Remove the requirement for each dispensary to have a licensed pharmacist.
  • Lift restrictions on THC levels.

Rachel Bussett, the petitioners’ attorney, said the challenge still shows success because it has pressured the state health department to act how “they’re supposed to act.”

The judge still could later toss some or all the rules that are being challenged, according to The Oklahoman.

Residents seeking MMJ business licenses can begin submitting applications on Aug. 25.

If the current regulations stick, Marijuana Business Daily projects Oklahoma MMJ’s market could reach $100 million-$150 million annually within several years of its launch.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily