Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said his office will review the legal challenges to the agency's rules on State Question 788.
Hunter's officer said they received a letter from Oklahoma Department of Health Interim Commissioner Tom Bates asking for counsel on "how best to proceed with the defense of this action," a news bulletin states.
“We will expedite this request in order to give clarity to the Department of Health on how to address this legal challenge,” Attorney General Hunter said.
The "review will be thoughtful, thorough and transparent. We will publicly release the findings provided to Mr. Bates when completed, hopefully by the end of the week."
My office will review the legal challenge to the Dept of Health's rules on #SQ788— Mike Hunter (@AGMikeHunter) July 16, 2018
Our review will be thoughtful, thorough & transparent. We will publicly release the findings provided to Tom Bates when completed, hopefully by the end of the week.
READ | https://t.co/qyc6IRVmbh pic.twitter.com/kFSUc6s3Lt
Groups behind the lawsuits claim the health department’s board violated the law to push those rules through and one of the lawsuits claims the board met in secret to come up with the rules, which would be a violation of the state’s open meeting act.
Officials with the department of health say they either don’t know or are unwilling to reveal who wrote the regulations.
However, we do know the rules likely did not come from the department’s general counsel.
The general counsel disagreed with board members at last week’s rules meeting when it came to the last-minute requirement that pharmacists be a part of the medical marijuana process.
In spite of that disagreement, the board added the pharmacist requirement.
Here is the letter Bates sent Hunter on Monday, July 18. He references the fact that the health department's own general counsel advised board members that amendments made eliminating the sale of smokable marijuana and requiring a pharmacist at dispensaries were likely outside the scope of the board's authority.
"In light of this conflict, I would appreciate the advice and counsel of your office on how best to proceed with the defense of this action," Bates concluded.