Securing Oklahoma medical marijuana license relatively easy

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
01/28/2020 09:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Jamie Casey, a Cherokee Nation citizen living in Broken Arrow, holds her Oklahoma medical marijuana patient card. Her birthdate and patient ID number have been blurred for privacy. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The backs of Oklahoma medical marijuana patient cards provide a list of warnings, rules and regulations. Medical marijuana became legal in 2018. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Many medical marijuana dispensary locations offer assistance in obtaining state-issued patient cards. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – Since the legalization of medical marijuana in Oklahoma in 2018, many residents have flocked to their physicians to get recommendations to obtain medical marijuana licenses through the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

Via the OMMA, patients, caregivers, dispensary owners, growers, processors and physicians can acquire licenses.

Per omma.ok.gov, adult and minor patients are required to get recommendations from medical marijuana-licensed physicians before they can apply for licenses.

Physicians vary on their requirements for recommendations, some requesting medical records while other do not.

“If they have medical records, that’s preferred so we can document the medical necessity versus just recreational,” Julie Harris, Tahlequah Family Medicine Clinic office manager, said.

Jennifer Sanders, Oklahoma Medical Cannabis Information Resource Center assistant manager, said her facility does not require medical records.

“Right now you don’t have to have a specific one (medical condition) to get approved just because that’s how they wrote the bill, from what I understand. Most of the time it’s anxiety, depression or insomnia are the main ones that will get someone approved. Chronic pain is a really good one, too,” Sanders said.

She said OMCIRC sees a lot of geriatric patients who say their current medicines are not working for them and are seeking medical marijuana as a last resort.

According to an Oklahoma Watch article, “One in 13 adult Oklahomans has a patient card. With no qualifying medical conditions required, patients are finding it easy to get approval, with consultations sometimes just a video call away.” More than 220,000 licenses have been approved so far.

Sanders added that because of how State Question 788 was written, “somebody can come in with a hangnail and get approved for it.”

“They haven’t discriminated on (medical conditions),” Harris said. “Since cannabis is a broad-spectrum treatment, most of the people applying for the license have already experimented with it, and most of them feel that it’s better for them than traditional medicine. We don’t fault them. It’s a big expense. Sometimes we ask them if they’re already familiar with it and about 80 percent say ‘yeah.’”

Recommendation fees also vary from physician to physician, most of them requiring cash only.

Harris said Tahlequah Family Medicine requires a $75 recommendation fee. Sanders said OMCIRC requires a $50 fee for a doctor’s visit.

Once a person collects his or her recommendation and other necessary documentation, he or she needs to create accounts on the OMMA website and apply for a license.

Standard application fees are $100 plus tax, or if a person has Medicare (SoonerCare), Medicaid, or is a 100% disabled veteran, the fee is $20 plus tax. Application fees are non-refundable if denied approval.

Business licenses for growers, processors and dispensaries as well as physician licenses information, including requirement and fees, can be found on the OMMA website.


OMMA License Requirements

Adult Patient

Adult patient license holders will be allowed to legally buy, use and grow medical marijuana and sell products in Oklahoma.

Licenses are valid for two years from the date issued or 60 days from the date issued if for a short-term license.

Documentation required when applying is proof of Oklahoma residency, proof of identity, a full-face digital photograph, a two-year or 60-day adult physician recommendation form, and if applicable, proof of insurance for a reduced fee.

Minor Patient

Minor patient license holders under the age of 18 are allowed to possess, use and grow medical marijuana in the state. However, they cannot enter dispensaries without a parent or legal guardian, preferably who signed the minor’s application.

Licenses are valid for two years from the date issued or 60 days from the date issued if for a short-term license.

Minors must acquire two recommendations, each from a different physician.

When applying, the application requires documentation for proof of identity, a full-face digital photograph, two recommendation forms and, if applicable, proof of insurance for a reduced fee.

A parent or legal guardian must also provide information for the minor’s application for proof of Oklahoma residency, proof of identity, a full-face digital photograph and documentation showing legal guardianship, if applicable.

Caregivers
Caregivers licenses allow individuals who are designated by the patient to assist them with the purchase, application and administration of medical marijuana.

Licenses are valid up to the expiration date of the associated patient’s license.

Documentation for a caregiver’s license includes proof of Oklahoma residency, proof of identity, a full-face digital photograph and an adult or minor patient caregiver designation form.

There is no application for caregiver licenses.

Temporary Adult Patient

Temporary adult patient licenses allow an individual with a valid medical marijuana license from another state to buy, use and grow medical marijuana and its products in Oklahoma.

The license is valid for 30 days and the application fee is $100 with no reduced fees.
Documentation for a temporary license includes an out-of-state medical marijuana license, proof of identity and a full-face digital photograph.

omma.ok.gov
About the Author
Lindsey Bark grew up and resides in the Tagg Flats community in Delaware County. She graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, emphasizing ...
lindsey-bark@cherokee.org • 918-772-4223
Lindsey Bark grew up and resides in the Tagg Flats community in Delaware County. She graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, emphasizing ...

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