The Oklahoma lawmakers have largely taken a path of deference to the voters, in this first legislative session after the voters changed our laws on marijuana and hemp.
Last summer there was urgency and even panic about whether the implementation could happen without more legislative action. In the end, the lawmakers decided that the path of lesser regulation could prevail until the February scheduled date of the 57th Legislature.
But the Interim Study, led by Rep. Jon Echols & Sen. Greg McCortney, were at work with advocates and industry experts, to polish up a framework of needed structure so that the Health Dept could put product safety mandates into effect. HB2612 was signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt before spring break. It was referred to "the unity bill" because various private sector interests wrote most of it after resolving differences among themselves. The Unity Bill was the most important legislation because it replaces temporary 'emergency rules' which sunset later this summer.
The legislators filed several radical bills including a "county option" where patients would be arrested if found in possession of cannabis meds, even if traveling through a prohibition county. That bill by Sen. Casey Murdock of the panhandle district was left to die in the Senate Rules Committee.
Other bills proposed more fees, taxes, and zoning restrictions for these medical dispensaries. Still others set up waste control mandates and prohibitions on advertising, physician coordination,
And some bills were merely "clean up" of language for consistency with our statutory norms.
Other bills are still uncertain. They are still being negotiated and even bargained between the house & senate members. Some of them may be resolved in a joint conference committee.
The last two weeks still leave us a lot of potential for fast action and even language we haven't yet read.
Here's a list of the most pertinent bills and where they stand.