OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – On Tuesday, voters in Oklahoma approved a measure that will make medical cannabis legal in the state with over 56% popular support. The referendum, known as SQ 788, will allow patients to use medical cannabis to treat their conditions with a recommendation from their doctor. The initiative calls on the state to establish rules governing the licensing and regulation of facilities to cultivate, process, and dispense medical cannabis, and allows patients to cultivate limited amounts of medical cannabis at home.
“In spite of a well-financed and misleading opposition campaign, Oklahoma voters proved that medical cannabis is no longer a controversial issue by enacting a sensible law at the ballot box tonight,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). “We applaud Oklahoma for joining the growing list of states that allow patients to legally access the medicine that works for them.”
The passage of SQ 788 marks the first time that a state medical cannabis ballot initiative has been approved by voters in an electoral primary. Observers were skeptical of the initiative passing in an unprecedented election cycle, particularly given strong and well-funded efforts from opponents to the referendum in the months before the vote.
“The passage of this law is not only a great victory for some of the Sooner State’s most vulnerable citizens – it will also create new business opportunities as the state’s underground market for medical cannabis is replaced by licensed businesses with the potential to create thousands of jobs and millions in new tax revenue,” continued Smith. “We are confident that the standards of professionalism and quality care that have become synonymous with the legal medical cannabis industry will be repeated here for the benefit of seriously ill residents throughout the state.”
With the addition of Oklahoma, there are now effective medical cannabis laws in 30 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. A total of 46 states allow for the medical use of cannabis in some form.