On June 26th in 2018 Oklahomans came together at the voting polls to pass State Question 788 which gave us the Medical Marijuana program we have today. Now, nearly four years later, it is time for Oklahomans to come together again, this time to save our medical program. State Questions 818 and 819 protect the patient rights as established in SQ 788 with SQ 819 extending those rights to create a Recreational program. Vote YES on SQ 818 and SQ 819 and vote NO on SQ 820. Here is a further breakdown on the State Questions that will be on the ballot on June 28th 2022.
State Question 818, or SQ 818, is a constitutional measure; meaning it is amendable by the legislature as specified by SQ 818. The proposal of SQ 818 is for Medical Marijuana; this differs from SQ 788 as it was a statutory measure. Note: Constitutional measures overrule statutory measures. If SQ 818 passes, it will override SQ 788 and any changes made since the passing of SQ 788. For any changes to be made by SQ 818 it would require a vote by the people as it is a constitutional measure. The enactment timeline for SQ 818 phases in over the course of one year. Patient rights begin the day of passage and SQ 818 creates benefits for the industry, requires financial transparency, and an audit of the program. Additionally, OMMA will become the Oklahoma State Cannabis Commission also in the course of one year. As far as product sales go, SQ 818 is for Medical Marijuana only. This measure would allow for license reciprocity with other state’s MMJ card holders. It also allows all legal US residents to obtain an Oklahoma patient license. The license requirement for a commercial license is a $2500 license fee and no limit on licenses as written in SQ 788. The product tax retains the 7% excise tax on MMJ as written in SQ 788. Regulatory requirements will work with existing regulations and modifies requirements for product testing and tracking.
State Question 819, or SQ 819, is a constitutional measure; meaning it is amendable by the legislature as specified by SQ 819. The proposal of SQ 819 is for Recreational Marijuana for ages 21 and over. The enactment timeline for SQ 819 phases in over the course of one year. Individual rights begin on the day of passage and SQ 819 creates benefits for the industry as a whole. Additionally, it will phase out the 7% excise tax on Medical Marijuana which should happen over the course of one year. With regards to product sales, recreational sales begin 60 days from passage. Medical and recreational sales are separated at time of payment by either a medical license for the medical tax rate or a state/federal ID for the recreational tax rate. The license requirement is a single license system, with no additional license cost. All current MMJ commercial license holders are automatically licensed for recreational sales. Future licenses are one for both MMJ and recreational products. There is no limit on licenses as written in SQ 788. As far as product tax goes, SQ 819 creates a 15% state excise tax on recreational sales. This 15% tax rate could be lowered, but not raised by the legislature. It also creates a 3% wholesale tax on future export sales and additionally, it eliminates the 7% excise tax on Medical Marijuana. The regulatory requirements are that it works with the existing regulations and tracks future regulation to those of the MMJ program. Essentially, SQ 818 constitutionally protects medical patient’s rights and SQ 819 constitutionally protects those same rights and actually goes one step further and adds a recreational program that turns the taxes onto recreational and removes them from the medical program.
State Question 820, or SQ 820, is a statutory measure; meaning it is amendable or erasable by the legislature, like SQ 788. The proposal of SQ 820 is for Recreational Marijuana for ages 21 and over. The enactment timeline is to be determined. SQ 820 becomes law 90 days from passage. From that date, OMMA is given 90 days to issue rules and begin accepting commercial license applications. As a statutory measure, the legislation has total authority to modify the enactment timeline. The timeline for product sales is also to be determined. As written, OMMA would be required to begin accepting applications for recreational licenses. There is currently no limit placed on the time that OMMA has to issue licenses. Sales would begin once a license has been issued. The license requirement would be for a dual license system; $2500 license fee for recreational commercial license, in addition to the current cost for a commercial Medical Marijuana license. SQ 820 also allows for up to $2500 application fee in addition to the license fee. For the first 2 years from enactment, MMJ licenses that have been in effect for more than one year may apply for a recreational license. There is no limit on licenses as written in SQ 788. The product tax is also to be determined but SQ 820 creates a 15% excise tax on recreational sales. This 15% rate can be raised or lowered by the legislature. SQ 820 also retains the 7% excise tax on Medical Marijuana as written in SQ 788. As for regulatory requirements, SQ 820 requires OMMA to produce and maintain a separate set of regulations for Recreational and Medical Marijuana. Note: constitutional measures overrule statutory measures. If both SQ819 and SQ820 pass, the law of SQ819 will override SQ820 where there is a conflict in language.
Keep up with Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action (ORCA) by following their Facebook page or by checking out their website!
If you are in Northwest Oklahoma and are interested in signing the petition to save our Medical Program and create a prudent Recreational Program, here are the locations that have petitions available for you to sign!