Medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma while adult-use cannabis remains illegal.
Eligible patients in Oklahoma must be 18 years to buy legal amounts of medical cannabis. Minors registered to use medical marijuana can designate a caregiver to help them buy.
Only eligible patients or registered caregivers in Oklahoma can possess the authorized amount of weed, which is three ounces in public and eight ounces on private properties. Residents without a prescription are prohibited from owning any amount of weed.
Cultivating any amount of marijuana without a prescription is illegal. On the other hand, patients with qualifying conditions can grow up to six marijuana plants in their private residences.
Residents who violate marijuana laws in Oklahoma often face misdemeanor-related penalties. The punishments are more severe for possessing high amounts of marijuana or distributing to minors.
It depends. Medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma according to Title 63 Section 420 of the Oklahoma Statutes, while recreational marijuana is illegal. However, House Bill 2154, signed into law in April 2015, permits cannabidiol (CBD) oil legally without a license. According to House Bill 2154, licensed medical marijuana patients can consume cannabis legally and:
Carry up to 3 ounces (85g) of cannabis
Keep up to 8 ounces (230g) of cannabis in their homes
Possess up to 1 ounce (28g) of concentrated cannabis and 72 ounces of edible cannabis
Possess up to six mature marijuana plants and six seedlings
Per Section 426, Title 63 of Oklahoma Statutes, medical marijuana is subject to a 7% sales tax. Marijuana is a Schedule I Controlled Substance. Hence, it is illegal under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. Consequently, Oklahoma residents are prohibited from using cannabis on federally owned properties in the state. The federal ban on cannabis limits marijuana businesses' financial transactions to local sources. In addition, cannabis businesses cannot generate capital through investors or enjoy federal income tax returns. This limitation poses a significant drawback to business growth.
In Oklahoma, medical cannabis is legal while recreational marijuana remains illegal in 2022. Different recreational marijuana activists and groups are working towards adult use legalization through ballot initiatives. One of the groups proposed two constitutional amendments, State Question 818 and State Question 819. Known as the Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action (ORCA), the group filed SQ 818 to create the State Cannabis Commission. The second initiative, SQ 819 is titled the Oklahoma Marijuana Regulation and Right to Use Act and it would legalize cannabis for persons above 21.
Although both initiatives did not make it to ballot, a different initiative, State Question 820, proposed by another group, is now certified to appear on the 2024 ballot. Proponents of SQ 820, the Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws (OSML), submitted 164,000 signatures to the Oklahoma Secretary of State on July 5, 2022. After several delays and vetting, the secretary of state was able to validate 117,257 votes, which was forwarded to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in August. In September 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that SQ 820 will not be placed on the 2022 ballot due to statutory deadlines for ballot inclusion. However, in October 2022, the Governor ordered a special election ballot for the initiative to be held on March 7, 2023.
If passed as a law, SQ 820 would legalize cannabis usage for adults above 21 years old. According to the initiative, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority would be in charge of licensing and setting regulations for marijuana businesses. Individuals can possess, distribute, or transport up to one ounce/28.35 grams of marijuana and eight grams of marijuana concentrate. The tax rate on cannabis sales would be 15%. The proposal would also allow each person to own up to six mature cannabis plants and a maximum of six seedlings. It would equally provide a procedure through which residents can expunge past marijuana-related charges or sentences.
Medical marijuana was legalized in June 2018 after the approval of State Question 788 of the 2016 ballot. Some amendments to medical marijuana laws in 2021 and 2022 include:
Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2021: This bill concerns financial institutions in the United States and their service to marijuana-profiting businesses. It seeks to restrict federal banking regulators from penalizing financial institutions for serving cannabis businesses. If enacted, the SAFE Banking Act of 2021 will permit banks to provide loans and other financial services to cannabis-profiting ventures. Banks will no longer risk asset forfeiture or other disciplinary actions. According to this bill, the profit from legitimate marijuana enterprises will not be subject to federal anti-money laundry laws. In addition, the federal banking regulators will be prohibited from instructing banks to close the accounts of marijuana business owners.
House Bill 2272: HB 2272 was prepared by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) and endorsed on May 18, 2021, by Governor Kevin Stitt. Per provisions of HB 2272, the OMMA must schedule meetings and compliance inspections on marijuana dispensaries, plantations, and manufacturing sites. Any licensee not operating their facility or working actively towards running it within 180 days after licensure risks losing their license. Also, licensed medical marijuana cultivators (commercial), dispensaries, and processors must attest and reveal any foreign financial interest in their business to the OMMA. This attestation must be carried out within 60 days after licensure.
House Bill 2022: This bill titled ''Medical Marijuana; Patient and Caregiver Licenses'' was introduced by Fetgatter of the House and Leewritght of the Senate on January 20, 2020. If passed, a non-Oklahoma medical marijuana patient (18 years and older) will be eligible for the state's medical marijuana patient license. However, the license must be signed by an Oklahoman physician. According to HB 2022, a non-resident will not require a qualifying medical condition for the license. The OMMA will contact the physician to verify the individual's need for the license. If issued, the license will be valid for two years unless the physician terminates his recommendation or the OMMA revokes such a license. Also, the cost of non-resident medical marijuana licenses would be $200, and the license will be renewable if the patient submits a new application and pays the required application fee.
House Bill 2646: HB 2646 was authored by Taylor of the Senate and both Echols and Davis of the House. Governor Kevin Stitt approved the Bill on May 5, 2021. HB 2646 provided the following amendments to Oklahoma Statute:
Amendment to Title 63 Section 420 of Oklahoma Statutes - This amendment authorizes a temporary medical marijuana license for medical marijuana patients who do not reside in Oklahoma. However, the licensee must provide proof of residence in a state with a medical marijuana program. Per this amendment, the license will be valid for three days. According to House Bill 2646, the amendment will result in increased medical cannabis sales, leading to greater excise and sales taxes.
Amendment to Title 63 Section 426 of Oklahoma Statutes- Per this amendment, the purpose of the fraction of medical cannabis-generated excise tax assigned to the State Department of Health was adjusted. Rather than fund ''drug and alcohol rehabilitation'', it will finance ''drug and alcohol rehabilitation and prevention''.
Amendment to Title 63 Section 427.2 of Oklahoma Statutes - House Bill 2646 changed the definition of the term ''registered to conduct a business'' as stated in 63 O.S.§427.2. Hence, a letter of good standing from the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) is not a prerequisite for medical marijuana business registration.
Amendment to Title 63 Section 427.6 of Oklahoma Statutes: This amendment eliminates the notice requirement for OMMA inspections on marijuana business premises. Before the approval of House Bill 2646, the OMMA had to pre-inform cannabis business owners about upcoming inspections within 24 hours. Now, they can carry out inspections unannounced during regular working hours.
Amendment to Title 63 Section 427.22 of Oklahoma Statutes: This amendment exempts medical marijuana business records from the Oklahoma Open Records Act. Hence businesses' monthly reports, seed-to-sale data, and inventory reports submitted to the OMMA are considered confidential information. However, the OMMA can share confidential data with law enforcement officials on request.
Senate Bill 1033: Senate Bill 1033 was approved by Governor Kevin Stitt on May 28, 2021. It prohibits caregivers from growing cannabis for more than five medical marijuana patients at once. It also grants waivers to cannabis businesses if their facilities within 1,000 feet of a school were operational before the school's establishment.
Before the approval of Senate Bill 1033, the OMMA's resources were used solely for administrative functions. SB 1033 authorizes the OMMA and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) to enter agreements concerning resources. Through the agreement, both agencies can establish a special enforcement unit dedicated to fighting unlawful drug activities in the state. The bill authorizes the OTC to charge the OMMA a 1.5% fee of the 7% medical marijuana tax collected by them.
1933: Oklahoma conforms to the nationwide trend by banning marijuana use in 1933.
2015: Oklahoma Governor signs HB 2154 allowing physicians to recommend a low-THC CBD oil (less than 0.3% THC) to residents suffering from a chronic epilepsy disorder.
2016: HB 2835 became law, allowing eligible patients of all ages to use CBD oil. The new law also includes other qualifying conditions like intractable nausea and vomiting.
2017: In March of 2017, a lawsuit was resolved allowing Question 788 - the Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative to appear on the June 2018 Ballot,
2018: Medical cannabis became legal in Oklahoma through the 2017 ballot measure. 57% of Oklahoma voters approved the ballot measure, which allowed up to three ounces of marijuana for eligible patients.
The US has already made a law in 2018 to allow use and cultivation of CBD oil, hemp, and other low-THC products. However, marijuana remains illegal. With marijuana now legal in several states, US legislators are also making efforts to end marijuana decriminalization. In 2019, the US House of Representatives presented the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act in a bid to legalize recreational and medical marijuana. The 2019 MORE Act was passed by the House in 2020 but failed to gain approval from the Senate. Another MORE Act was introduced in 2021 and has now been passed in 2022. If the Act is approved and signed into law by the US president, it would:
Remove cannabis from the illicit drugs list in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act.
Eliminate cannabis-related federal offense penalties.
Expunge previous marijuana convictions.
Permit other states to develop their own regulatory frameworks free from federal interference.
Prevent non-citizens from suffering immigration consequences as a result of using and possessing marijuana.
Stop federal organizations from refusing qualified applicants access to school loans, government benefits, or jobs because they consume marijuana.
Support community social services that have been impacted by the protracted war on drugs through a federal excise tax of 5% on marijuana sales.
Meanwhile, the US Senate is also working on its own marijuana legislation bill known as the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA). Like the MORE Act, this bill will delist cannabis from the DEA’s Schedule 1 drugs and allow states to legalize marijuana without federal interference. The CAO Act will also resolve a number of issues that are currently plaguing legislated state cannabis markets. Examples of those issues include:
Lack of financial services accessibility.
Federal tax returns on marijuana establishments.
Absence of uniform federal administrative regulations and standards.
If enacted into law, the bill will promote inclusion and diversity among licensed business owners in supervised cannabis markets and designates cash to be reinvested in regions that have been unduly disadvantaged by the War on Drugs.
The US President has also helped increase the prospect of federal legalization by issuing a marijuana reform executive order in October 2022. The executive action will pardon persons convicted of simple marijuana possession and other states to carry out similar state pardons. President Biden also asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to review how cannabis is scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act.
Only medical marijuana patients can use cannabis in Oklahoma, and they must have their debilitating medical conditions certified by a physician. This involves the issuance of written certification by the physician recommending cannabis use. A qualifying patient will then use the written certification to apply for a medical marijuana card from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). It is illegal for anyone that does not have a medical marijuana card to use cannabis.
The use of cannabis was banned in Oklahoma in 1933. However, opposition against marijuana began to intensify in the U.S. from the periods of the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s when many states banned the use of marijuana. The federal government removed industrial hemp from the definition of cannabis in the Controlled Substance Act with the passage of the Farm Bill into law in December 2018. Industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) is a species of cannabis with a very low concentration of THC, usually less than 0.3% of dry weight. The use of cannabidiol oil (CBD oil) derived from industrial hemp is not considered illegal because of its extremely low level of psychoactive substance. Recreational marijuana cannot be used or possessed in Oklahoma as it is illegal.
In Oklahoma, only licensed medical marijuana dispensaries can sell cannabis and cannabis products legally. It is illegal to sell or use recreational marijuana in the state, and anyone caught with illegal cannabis risks legal repercussions. To legally purchase medical marijuana, a buyer must be a licensed patient, caregiver, or legal guardian (named on a qualified minor's license). As provided in State Question 788 of the 2016 ballot, a medical cannabis patient or caregiver must be 18 years and older before they can purchase the drug at a dispensary. If a medical marijuana patient is under 18 years, a caregiver must buy cannabis for them.
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) issues four types of medical marijuana licenses to businesses. These are cultivator, processor, dispensary, and transportation licenses. According to Title 63 Section 420 of the Oklahoma Statutes, licensed cannabis growers can sell marijuana to licensed processors and retailers. These sales are not subject to tax because they are considered wholesale. However, medical marijuana cultivators are prohibited from selling cannabis directly to licensed marijuana patients.
Licensed marijuana retailers can sell cannabis to persons with research licenses. Typically, cannabis dispensaries in Oklahoma prefer cash payments when selling medical cannabis to qualified persons. This is because depository financial institutions only offer limited services to marijuana businesses due to the federal prohibition on cannabis.
The OMMA is the state agency that regulates and licenses marijuana businesses. Marijuana dispensaries can sell mature cannabis plants, seedlings, flowers, concentrates, edibles containing marijuana, and paraphernalia to licensed patients. However, hashish is illegal in Oklahoma. Hence, medical dispensaries are not permitted to have this form of cannabis on their premises or sell it to patients. House Bill 2154 permits the legal sale of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a marijuana-derived product, without a license. Consequently, Oklahoma residents can easily purchase CBD oil over the counter in various shops across the state without a license.
Although medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, its recreational use and possession are illegal. The state has stringent regulations concerning marijuana use. The following are some cannabis-related offenses in Oklahoma and their penalties:
According to Oklahoma Statutes Title 63 §2-101 (Uniform Controlled Substances Act), a person caught with marijuana commits a misdemeanor. They risk a minimum jail term of one year and a $1,000 fine if convicted, although first-time offenders could be released conditionally. However, this restriction does not apply to licensed medical marijuana patients (18 years and older) and their caregivers.
Per State Question 788's provisions, an unlicensed medical marijuana patient in possession of marijuana commits a misdemeanor offense. If caught with up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis, they risk up to a $400 fine. Furthermore, it is unlawful to possess marijuana within 1,000 feet of schools (public and private), public parks, or in the presence of minors (under 12 years). Offenders risk a $2,000 fine, two years imprisonment, or both. However, the offender must serve a mandatory sentence of one-year incarceration, a $1,000 fine, or both. Also, they must pay a $100 fee for special assessment trauma care (deposited into the Trauma Care Assistance Revolving Fund).
Owning marijuana paraphernalia is also a violation of Oklahoma marijuana possession laws, which attracts a misdemeanor punishable. Offenders may face up to a $1,000 fine, one-year imprisonment, or both. Second-time offenders risk up to a $5,000 fine, maximum jail time of one year, or both. Third time and subsequent offenders risk up to $10,000 in fines, up to a one-year maximum prison sentence, or both.
Smoking marijuana in the public is generally considered harmful to public health. As such, marijuana consumption on the premises open to the public is prohibited. Examples of public premises where marijuana consumption is prohibited includes zoos, public transportation, and indoor workplaces often visited by the public. Eligible patients can consume (smoking or vaping) cannabis private residences, stand-alone taverns, stand-alone bars, cigar bars, and workplaces not open to the public. Offenders consuming marijuana in public may face further punishments together with other penalties associated with the weight of the cannabis found with them.
Under Oklahoma marijuana distribution laws, marijuana possession with intent to distribute attracts a compulsory jail term of two years and a $20,000 fine. Also, per Title 63 Section 401 of the Oklahoma Statutes, it is unlawful to sell cannabis in the state without a license. Persons caught selling less than 25 pounds of cannabis risk facing between two years imprisonment to life imprisonment and a $20,000 fine. Also, giving between 25 pounds and 1,000 pounds of cannabis to another individual is punishable by a fine ranging between $25,000 and $100,000. Alternatively, the offender could face jail term ranging between four years and life imprisonment, or both fine and incarceration. Selling up to 1,000 pounds of cannabis or more is an offense punishable by a $500,000 maximum fine, imprisonment between four years to life, or both.
Furthermore, selling cannabis to minors (18 years and under) is a crime in Oklahoma. The extent of punishment offenders risk depends on the quantity of cannabis they sell:
For selling less than 25 pounds of marijuana, the offender can face four years jail term to life and a $40,000 fine.
For selling between 25 pounds and 1,000 pounds of marijuana, the offender risks eight years incarceration to life, a fine ranging between $50,000 and $100,000, or both.
For selling up to 1,000 pounds or more of cannabis, the offender risks eight years imprisonment to life, a $1 million maximum fine, or both.
Additional limitations include selling cannabis within 2,000 feet of a school, public housing, or public park, which is a crime in Oklahoma. Penalties depend on the quantity of marijuana that offenders sell, and offenders risk similar punishment as those described for selling to minors. However, convicted offenders must serve at least half of the imposed sentence.
Title 63 Section 401 of the Oklahoma Statutes stipulates that it is illegal to grow marijuana for recreational use. Cultivation of up to 1,000 marijuana plants for non-medical use is a felony punishable by a $50,000 fine and prison sentence between 2 years and life imprisonment. Persons who cultivate cannabis plants on their properties risk a jail sentence between 2 years and life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine. However, licensed medical marijuana patients (18 years and older) and their caregivers can cultivate up to six cannabis plants and six seedlings at home for medical purposes. Home growers are required to restrict the entry of other persons, especially minors (below 18 years), into cultivation areas.
Yes. Sharing marijuana with another person in Oklahoma is illegal, even if the recipient is an adult. However, it is legal to give out CBD oil in the state. Persons caught gifting cannabis in Oklahoma could face up to 2 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine. Adults caught gifting cannabis to minors (under 18 years) risk up to 4 years imprisonment and up to a $40,000 fine.
It is unlawful to drive under the influence of cannabis in Oklahoma. Persons convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of cannabis risk the following penalties:
A maximum fine of $1,000 or jail time between 10 days and one year for an initial violation. Also, offenders will be referred for drug and alcohol assessment.
A second violation within ten years after the first offense attracts a $2,500 fine. Offenders are also incarcerated in the state's Department of Corrections between one year (minimum) and five years (maximum).
Third and subsequent marijuana DUI violations attract one year of supervision and periodic blood testing at offenders' expense and 480 hours of mandatory community service. They must also use an ignition interlock device for at least 30 days. Alternatively, offenders risk up to a $5,000 fine and incarceration in the state's Department of Corrections for a period between one year and 20 years (maximum).
If an adult (18 years and older) is convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana while carrying a minor in the vehicle, they risk paying a double fine for their DUI violation.
As stipulated in Title 63 Section 509 of the Oklahoma Statutes, manufacturing or attempts to manufacture hash or concentrates from marijuana is a crime.
First offenders risk up to $50,000 fines and jail sentences ranging between two years (minimum) and life imprisonment
Subsequent offenders face up to $100,000 fines and prison sentences between four years (minimum) and life imprisonment
Also, possessing hash and concentrates with the intent to distribute is punishable by a maximum fine of $20,000 and a jail sentence between two years and life imprisonment. Possession of hash or concentrates is a misdemeanor, and offenders risk the following punishments:
$1,000 maximum fine, one-year maximum jail term, or both, for first-time offenders
$5,000 maximum fine, two years maximum jail term, or both, for subsequent offenders
It is illegal to possess hash or cannabis concentrates within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, recreation centers, or in the presence of minors under 12 years. Violators risk a $2,000 maximum fine, maximum jail term of 2 years, or both, for first violations. Subsequent offenses can attract up to a $10,000 fine, jail sentence between 4 and 20 years, or both.
Transportation of marijuana is only legal for businesses who have OMMA transporter licenses and individuals with transporter agent licenses. Without these licenses, individuals carrying medical marijuana around the state may face charges similar to possession with intent to distribute. Note that cannabis is still illegal across the US and so, transporting weed from Oklahoma to another state is a federal crime.
Law enforcement agencies have the power to confiscate assets proven to be involved in the violation of Oklahoma marijuana trafficking laws. According to OK Statutes §63-2-503, possessions subject to confiscation of assets include cash, houses, and other valuable goods traced to be part of a marijuana crime.
Individuals accused of violating Oklahoma marijuana limitations can negotiate with the prosecutor to lessen the penalties or prove their innocence in court. With the help of an experienced lawyer, defendants can argue that the search conducted by the arresting officer was illegal. Defendants can also prove that someone else owns the marijuana or that they did not know the content of the drug. If the evidence presented by the prosecutor is not sufficient, the defense lawyer can question the credibility of the charges.
Other possible remedies for defendants of violating Oklahoma marijuana laws involve applying for drug diversion programs available to them. For instance, DUI/Drug Courts, available in Oklahoma County and 72 counties, are open to offenders proven to have a drug problem. According to the Oklahoma Drug Court Act, eligible offenders must plead guilty to the charges and pay court fees, supervision fees, and treatment fees before starting the program. Defendants who meet the program requirements may have their charges dropped and their criminal records expunged. Other similar alternative sentencing programs for marijuana violators in Oklahoma include Delayed Sentencing Program for Young Adults and Community Sentencing.
Oklahoma actively opposed the marijuana industry in the 20th century. In 1933, the state prohibited cannabis use, hence leading to widespread arrests and prosecution of offenders. However, in April 2015, Governor Mary Fallin signed House Bill 2154 into law. This bill permitted the medical trial of CBD oil, an extract of marijuana for treating epileptic seizures in children. Consequently, there was an unrestricted sale of CBD oil over the counter throughout Oklahoma.
In 2016, State Question 788 was scheduled for introduction into the 2016 Ballot. However, some legal dispute over the original language used in the initiative led to its rescheduling for 2018. In January 2018, the Governor fixed June 26, 2018, as the new ballot date for the initiative. On June 26, 2018, State Question 788 was passed into law following a 57% majority vote, legalizing medical marijuana in Oklahoma. As provided in SQ 788, the regulatory body, Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), was established in 2018 to oversee medical marijuana licensure in the state. In October 2018, the agency appointed its first director.
Despite the several bills introduced to the House to legalize recreational marijuana in Oklahoma, it remains illegal. For instance, House Bill 1961 was introduced on January 20, 2021. It proposed that the legalization of recreational marijuana be included as a state ballot initiative during the 2022 elections. However, the bill died in the House committee.
Although medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, there are several limitations to its use. Restrictions apply to persons authorized to use, cultivate, possess, and transport cannabis. Marijuana restrictions in Oklahoma include the following:
Driving under the influence of cannabis is unlawful, even if the driver is a licensed medical marijuana patient.
Sharing of marijuana is illegal even for licensed patients.
Possession or use of recreational cannabis is illegal.
Possessing more than 3 ounces of cannabis, 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana, and 72 ounces of edible marijuana by a licensed medical cannabis patient is unlawful.
Transporting cannabis into federally-owned properties such as buildings or lands is illegal. Also, it is unlawful to carry the drug across state lines, even if cannabis is legal in the destination state.
Selling cannabis to unlicensed persons at medical marijuana dispensaries is illegal.
Possessing, using, or cultivating cannabis within 1,000 feet of schools, public housing, or public parks is illegal.
Cultivating cannabis is illegal unless the grower is a licensed medical marijuana patient or caregiver. However, licensed patients and caregivers are prohibited from growing more than six mature cannabis plants and six seedlings.