As the volumes of new rules are being consumed and comprehended, Many are finding previously overlooked details and some latitude is being discovered. One such detail is the section authorizing the Medical Marijuana Authority(OMMA) to grant a variance in any license, to grant relief from a rule or restriction.
Here's the language
Examples of Variance Need
Some physicians are already expressing strong objection to the prohibition of sale of 'smokable' or vapor forms of cannabis.
Then there's the loss of immediate relief. This is especially pertinent for PTSD sufferers who exhibit 'flashbacks' and panic attacks. Lack of available immediate relief is perhaps a life-threatening scenario.
If even one patient exists in Oklahoma with a physicians recommendation for smokable or vapor stock of cannabis medicine, then a need exists for a legal dispensary to supply that needed medicine. It should not be assumed that every patient is of able mind and/or body to home -grow, nor that their life should be dependent on a successful crop, or to wait several months for a crop to come to harvest so he can begin treating his health condition.
Since the Agency added several very restrictive zoning & retailing rules, many variances may be reasonably warranted. Since these care essentially limited pharmacies, why are there rules requiring them to be nearly 1/4 mile from certain public buildings? the available properties may be very limited in some communities being served. This is especially true in the underserved rural parts of the state. For instance, if the only retail spaces are deep within a shopping center which is set back from public streets, a sign may be ineffective if it must comply with the 1600 square inch rule (that's smaller than a 2 foot by 6 foot sign). Some shopping centers require a uniform signage format of all their occupants.
- Very few Oklahoma physicians or pharmacists in good standing are experienced in cannabis medicine treatments. Most of our doctors are going to be practicing on us. Some physicians from other states are likely to see the need for experienced providers of care. This may encourage these professionals to make Oklahoma their new home. It is regrettable that our medical establishment would lump these professionals into a denigration of 'fly by night' hucksters and quacks. It is our hope that Oklahoma patients will have the benefit of the nation's best experts. These specialists need to regarded with deference and their Oklahoma licensing needs to be expedited.
- We found no rule in the final document which limits the number of dispensary licenses. I called the Health Dept. public information officer, Jamie Dukes. She said it's the biggest myth she's having to address.
- The Board of Health will meet again on August 10th. It will not be at the state headquarters. It was previously scheduled to be part of a 'workshop' nature. State Open Meeting law still applies, so it will be published 10 days in advance and the agenda will be posted 2 days in advance. The meeting is open to the public.
- No initial supply of cannabis plants is authorized, yet. All growers (commercial and home) must buy authorized Oklahoma plants. Yet we have no provision for them. If they are only available in early September, then real medicine will only be available about 3 months later (November). It appears that the OMMA will be acquiring these plants from either confiscated in-state sources, or in an interstate action which the federal govt. seems to ban.