- Melissa Miller, Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s communications manager
With 25,000 patient applications on file and more than 18,600 medical marijuana licenses already issued, Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) is keeping busy. While many issues are already set by statute, there is still a lot of gray area in issues like product testing and rules on public consumption. Melissa Miller, OMMA’s communications manager, fields some of the most commonly asked questions regarding its role in the burgeoning cannabis industry.
Oklahoma Gazette: How long does it take to receive application approval from OMMA?
Melissa Miller: Once the application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the OMMA. If it is deemed complete and meets all requirements, an approval letter with the license will be put in the mail within 14 days of the application submission date. Mailing time varies depending on a number of factors.
If an application is incomplete due to unclear or missing information or documents, the applicant will receive email correspondence stating the item(s) that need to be corrected and will be able to resubmit the application free of charge. The submission date is the date a complete application is provided.
OKG: What are the most common reasons medical marijuana license applications are denied?
Miller: Application rejections and application denials are two different results. Rejections result when the application is incorrect or incomplete. Denials are rare and result when the applicant does not meet the eligibility requirements for a license. For instance, a dispensary application that fails to prove the location is more than 1,000 feet away from a school would be denied.
If an application is rejected, the applicant has the opportunity to correct any issues with the application and resubmit free of charge. Common rejection reasons for patient applications include: 1) the applicant photograph does not meet the requirements, 2) the physician recommendation form is not filled out correctly and 3) the driver’s license or identification card is not submitted with both the front and back in color.
OKG: Will OMMA representatives be allowed or able to attend patient drives and approve or deny licenses on site in 2019?
Miller: OMMA staff/representatives do not provide on-site assistance at any location or event. All applications must be carefully reviewed by OMMA staff to ensure applicants meet all requirements for approval. Immediate or on-site approval is not provided. OMMA provides assistance Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. by phone at 405-522-6662. Applicants are also encouraged to visit omma.ok.gov for application instructions, forms and other resources.
OKG: Is the cost of a two-year patient license static, or can we expect to see higher or lower prices for a license in 2020 and 2021?
Miller: All license application fees are set in statute and, as such, would require statute changes to be modified.
OKG: With what state or federal agencies and private entities does OMMA share patient application information?
Miller: Patient information is sealed by law pursuant to 63 O.S. § 420A et. seq. OMMA does not share patient application information with any agency or entity.
OKG: Will there be a seed-to-shelf tracking system for Oklahoma medical marijuana products?
Miller: There are currently no requirements for businesses to utilize any specific software for product tracking. However, businesses are required to maintain an electronic inventory management system that meets certain requirements, as stated in the emergency rules [OAC 310:681-5-6(c)]. Otherwise, businesses may choose which systems work best for their needs.
OKG: Can two patients with valid licenses legally sell or share product purchased from dispensaries?
Miller: A medical marijuana patient license allows an individual with an approved application to legally buy, use and grow medical marijuana and medical marijuana products in Oklahoma. A patient license does not allow holders to sell or share medical marijuana or medical marijuana products.
OKG: Is delivery of medical marijuana by a third party legal, specifically to a residence by a vehicle, according to state law?
Miller: As stated in the emergency rules [OAC 310:681-5-18(c)], “No dispensary shall allow for or provide the delivery of medical marijuana or medical marijuana products to patient license holders or caregiver license holders.” Licensed growers, processors and dispensaries are provided a transportation license for transporting medical marijuana between licensed medical marijuana businesses only.
OKG: Besides the Oklahoma State Department of Health, what other state agencies will be involved with OMMA’s oversight or regulation of the medical marijuana industry going forward?
—Melissa Miller tweet this
Miller: Currently, there are a number of agencies that are involved in the oversight or regulation of the medical marijuana industry. Business licensees must be in compliance with all other applicable Oklahoma statutes and rules and, therefore, will interact with other state agencies. These agencies may include Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control (OBNDD); Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry; and Oklahoma Tax Commission.
OKG: What are the restrictions regarding criminal history for patient and business licenses?
Miller: There are no restrictions related to criminal history for patient license applicants. For business applicants, all owners of the business must provide a background check. Nonviolent felony convictions in the last two years and any other felony conviction in the last five years for any owner will disqualify the applicant.