On Tuesday, June 26th, 2018, the voters of Oklahoma passed State Question 788 and officially legalize medical marijuana. In the few days following the vote, Smith Simmons, PLLC and our Oklahoma City business law attorneys received a number of calls from those interested in information relating to establishing a dispensary in Oklahoma. To assist in educating those interested in becoming part of this budding industry, we hope you find this preliminary information useful, and know that you can always call us at (855) 973-8877 to speak with our attorneys for more questions.
Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Dispensary Guidelines So Far
Application information and specific requirements for grower, processor, transporter, and dispensary licenses will not be available until July 26th, 2018. However, we are able to ascertain some information from the released published draft rules as well as other information made available from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority that will be helpful for those interested in the medical marijuana industry.
According to what we know from the information released by Oklahoma governmental agencies, a "dispensary" means an entity that has been licensed by the Department pursuant to Title 63 O.S. § 421 and this Chapter. It allows licensed party to purchase medical marijuana from a processer licensee or grower licensee and then sell medical marijuana only to qualified patients and caregivers. Dispensaries cannot be co-located with any other business entity and may only sell or otherwise offer medical marijuana and medical marijuana products. This is meant to be an additional control over what happens within dispensaries, as to reduce the chances of them operating as fronts for illegal drug distribution.
Although dispensary guidelines are noticeably limited at this time, we do know that applicants must be:
- At least 25-years old
- Reside in Oklahoma
- Registered to conduct business in the state
- Meet other miscellaneous licensing requirements
Entities can have ownership consisting of no more than 25% ownership by non-Oklahoma residents. The license application fee for growers, processors, and dispensaries will be $2,500.00 but may be subject to change. We also believe the term of a license will be for twelve (12) months, guessing partially by using similar medical marijuana program requirements in other states.
Based on the proposed rules for patients and doctors, we believe the rules and application requirements for growers, transporters, and dispensaries will include:
1. A criminal background check within 30 days prior to the application for the license for everyone involved in the operation. Individuals, principal officers of an entity, and all owners of an entity will likely all be subject to a background check at the time of application.
2. Those applying will likely be required to submit fingerprints as an additional verification and precaution.
3. Applicants will need to provide sufficient documentation of proof of residency in Oklahoma. Some forms of accepted identification in currently proposed rules relating to patients and doctors are:
- An unexpired Oklahoma issued driver’s license.
- An Oklahoma voter identification card.
- A utility bill for the calendar month preceding the date of application, excluding cellular telephone and internet bills.
- A residential property deed to property in the State of Oklahoma.
- A current rental agreement for residential property located in the State of Oklahoma.
4. Applicants will likely be required to submit proof of identity.
5. Applicants may be required to submit a digital photograph that meets specific requirements of how the photo is taken, such as is needed when providing a photograph for passport documentation.
6. Other supporting documentation which will be required for applicants include:
- Copy of current Oklahoma sales tax permit if a dispensary;
- List of all persons and/or entities that have an ownership interest in the entity;
- List of all creditors currently holding a secured or unsecured interest in the entity or the premises of the entity;
- List of all persons or entities having a direct or indirect authority over the management or policies of the entity;
- Affidavit of Lawful Presence for each owner;
- If applying for dispensary license, proof that the proposed location of the dispensary is a least 1,000 feet from a public or private school. The distance specified shall be measured from the primary entrance of the school to the nearest property line point of the dispensary;
- If the proposed location is not owned by the individual applicant/entity, a copy of the lease and a written statement from the owner/landlord certifying consent that the applicant/entity, if awarded a license, may operate a medical marijuana commercial facility on the property;
- Documents establishing the applicant, principal officers, and 75% of the ownership interests are Oklahoma residents as established in 310:681-1-6 and relating to proof of residency;
- Proof of bond in the amount of $50,000.00 made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Health;
- Designation of a successor-in-interest or designee of the Commercial Entity.
Please remember that the above are based upon proposed rules that have not be adopted by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority as of yet. Smith Simmons makes no warranty, express or implied, that we will update this blog as to the rules and this information is subject to change at any time. While we do predict it will likely change multiple times before being adopted as a rule, it is still helpful for us to provide some guidance based on our understanding and belief as to what applicants can expect when seeking a license as a medical marijuana grower, transporter, or dispensary in Oklahoma.
Regardless of the politics of State Question 788, the people of Oklahoma decided, and as a law firm representing business owners interested in the issue, we are here to provide sound counsel. As the State of Oklahoma continues to work through the various rules, regulations, and legal questions that are now presented by this significant change in Oklahoma policy, you can depend on our business lawyers in Oklahoma City to be your legal guides. Call (855) 973-8877 or contact us online to learn more about our services.
PLEASE NOTE: Federal law does not make exception for the distribution and sale of marijuana of any type, medical or otherwise. State and federal law may be in conflict and anyone who grows, distributes, transports, or consumes marijuana may be in violation of United States law and could be subject to prosecution. This blog post should in no way be considered legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship between the reader and Smith Simmons, PLLC. No action relating to the growing, transporting, or dispensing of marijuana should be taken prior to advice of counsel.