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State Lawmakers Discuss Rules For Medical Marijuana

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Representative Jon Echols on implementing medical marijuana Representative Jon Echols on implementing medical marijuana
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Legislative leaders say they plan to work with the State Department of Health and authors of State Question 788 to implement the will of the people. But Oklahomans can expect some changes.

"If we can come together and do something like that quickly there's a chance you could be issuing these permits by the end of next month,” said Representative Jon Echols (R) Majority Floor Leader. 

But that's a big “If.”

Legislative leaders say they want to set up regulations that do not change the intent of State Question 788.

Read Related Story: Medical Marijuana Passes In Oklahoma – So What’s Next?

"That's one of the keys here,” said Echols. “The citizens voted for this bill as is.  What I would like to see happen is we put together an orderly process for getting your permits for selling it, to be a dispensary, getting your permits to grow it."

Senator Greg Treat (R) Majority Floor Leader agreed, "The only thing that we would entertain would be looking at the deadlines for implementation to make sure that it's done safely and effectively but whatever we do needs to not run counter to the will of the people."

The governor seems to have other thoughts as far as defining what ailments fall under State Question 788. 

"I think the definition of who can give a permit, give a license to someone who wants something for a medical condition.  What that medical condition is.  And of course, the process of setting up a statewide system in 30 days is not really reasonable,” said Governor Mary Fallin. “So, I anticipate that we'll continue to talk about whether we have a special session or not.”

A few weeks ago, Governor Fallin said she expected a special session would be necessary.

“Well, I said that I anticipate that we'll have a special session, so we have been talking to agencies that have been passing some rules,” said Governor Fallin. "We are in the middle of an election year. You have runoffs. You have the general election. So, there's a lot going on in getting people back for a third special session."

The State Department of Health has said it expects to begin accepting applications for medical marijuana licenses at the end of August.

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