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 marijuana is punishable by jail time of 0-5 years for a first offense, 0-10 years for a second offense, and 4-15 years for a third offense. The penalties were more severe until Oklahoma State Governor Mary Fallin signed into law House Bill 2479 in April 2016 to eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing for first and second felony drug possession and lower the maximum sentence for all felony drug possession charges. 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
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
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.
In April 2018, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law House Bill 2913 to establish the Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program. The law permits universities and farmers who contract with the state to grow the plant “for research and development.” It took effect immediately.