Sadly, Oklahoma has yet to make any significant strides in cannabis law reform. The state hasn’t adopted sufficient medical marijuana legislation and it carries one of the strictest penalties for recreational marijuana possession of less than an ounce in the United States. The bright spot, however, is recent legislative changes allowing access to high-CBD cannabis oil to children diagnosed with pediatric epilepsy disorders and to adults suffering from a handful of conditions. Additionally, voters will have the opportunity to legalize full medical marijuana in the November 2018 election.
Recreational use of marijuana is strictly illegal in Oklahoma. Possession of any amount, even less than 1 ounce, carries the potential of up to 1 year in jail. Subsequent offenses are subject to a mandatory two years, up to 10 years, in jail. Oklahoma State Governor Mary Fallin did sign House Bill 2479 in April 2016, which reduced penalties for second marijuana possession by cutting sentencing in half. Any conviction also results in the immediate driver’s license suspension from 6 months to 3 years.
While Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program has made steps forward as of late, it still leaves most patients needing medicinal cannabis behind. Gov. Fallin did sign a bill on April 30, 2015 that legalized cannabis oils for children with severe epilepsy disorders, including Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. The high-CBD liquid cannabis oils must contain no more than 0.3% THC and CBD products have to be derived from the mature stalks or seeds of the cannabis plant.
In May, 2016, Gov. Fallin signed House Bill 2835, which allows adults access to low-THC cannabis oil for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy, spasticity due to multiple sclerosis or due to paraplegia, intractable nausea and vomiting, and wasting syndrome. The law took effect November 1, 2016.
Oklahoma voters will have the opportunity to approve a comprehensive medical marijuana measure in the upcoming November 2018 election. State Question 788, which would allow qualified patients aged 18 years or older to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana on their person and up to 8 ounces at their residence, up to 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana, and up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana. Individuals with a medical marijuana license would also be permitted to grow up to six mature and six seedling marijuana plants. The law would allow medical cannabis to be recommended by a board-certified physician for any condition.
Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil
Oklahoma citizens can legally purchase hemp oil. Hemp oil, which contains cannabidiol (CBD), is derived from the hemp plant. While federal law considers all cannabis sativa plants, including hemp, to be marijuana and therefore illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, the oil derived from hemp’s mature stalks or seeds is not illegal. Therefore, it is legal to purchase and use in Oklahoma.
Cultivation of Cannabis
The cultivation of cannabis for recreational or medical purposes is a felony and carries severe penalties in the state of Oklahoma. Cultivating up to 1,000 plants is punishable by a maximum $25,000 fine and cultivating more than 1,000 plants is punishable by a maximum $50,000 fine. Both are also subject to a prison sentence ranging between 20 years to life.