Voters Ignored as State Officials Act to Gut State Question 788

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today approved new rules created by the Oklahoma State Department of Health that are designed to hamstring the medical cannabis program overwhelmingly approved by voters with the passage of State Question 788. The rules include a prohibition on the sale of cannabis that can be smoked, a prohibition on many edible medical cannabis products, and an overly burdensome provision that all medical cannabis dispensaries must have a pharmacist on hand.

New Health Solutions Oklahoma, the trade group for Oklahoma’s medical cannabis industry, said the new rules directly contradicted the will of voters. NHSO has repeatedly called on Governor Mary Fallin to call a special legislative session to help implement State Question 788.

“By refusing to show leadership and call a special session, the governor’s office has handed over the implementation of Oklahoma’s medical cannabis program to a group of bureaucrats that are beholden to the special interest groups that fought State Question 788,” said NHSO Political Director Jed Green. “The people making policy now are the same people who ran a million dollar smear campaign aimed at convincing Oklahomans that smoking medical cannabis would lead to the collapse of society.”

Green said the requirement to put pharmacists in dispensaries was a giveaway to a special interest group that will profit from the new rules at the expense of other Oklahomans.

“This blatant money-grab by pharmacists is a step in the wrong direction,” said Green. “We should be moving forward to responsibly implement the will of Oklahoma voters, not working to silence their voices.”

“Oklahomans deserve leadership and clarity regarding how this product can be bought and sold and who can benefit from it,” said Green. “The refusal to provide that leadership is not just a policy debacle; it is also a political mistake for the governing party. Candidates in run-offs and on the November ballot should be on notice that the people who turned out in droves to support State Question 788 are watching and waiting for their elected officials to do the right thing, demand a special session, and return to the Capitol to ensure the will of the people is carried out. There is still time to fix this. We at NHSO continue to be committed to working with all stakeholders and elected officials to deliver a safe, quality medicine to Oklahoma.”

About New Health Solutions Oklahoma

Located in the heart of Oklahoma City, NHSO consists of members of Oklahoma’s business, medical, legal and agricultural communities committed to supporting new economic opportunities and healthy enterprises. Representing a broad spectrum of experience, skillets, and interests, NHSO brings a wealth of knowledge and assets to the development of public policy and market opportunities, specifically related to the emerging medical cannabis industry in Oklahoma. Through responsible regulations, public education and community outreach, we strive to provide Oklahoman’s with access to new forms of medical relief, while creating innovative investment opportunities. NHSO and its members are committed to working with the business, medical, legal and agricultural community to ensure the responsible development of the medical cannabis industry in

Oklahoma,

while preserving public health, deterring drug and alcohol abuse by Oklahoma’s youths, and combating the illicit drug trade.

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