Oklahoma House Democrats want special session
Since the passing of State Question 788 many Oklahomans have made plans to take part in the state’s growing medical marijuana industry, however no official regulations have been announced.
Currently the Legislature is out of session, but many House Democrats are pushing for a special session NewsOK reported.
The three House Democrats in the committee explained their push for the adoption of the “unity bill” which is an official proposal created by several medical marijuana advocacy groups.
"As Democrats, our top concern is that we proceed with a timely, safe and effective implementation of what Oklahomans voted for," House Democratic Leader Steve Kouplen told NewsOK.
"We have a bill in front of us that was assembled by industry experts and a coalition of activist organizations, based on tested standards in successful programs, nationwide."
Even those who don’t support State Question 788, such as Miami Democrat Ben Loring, believe more respect should be given to voters and the industry.
"We are talking about our state being flooded with a Schedule 1 narcotic, with no quality controls or labeling of product contents," Loring said. "Punting this to the spring will allow at least six months of uncertainty for patients and their physicians as to what medicine they are taking. While the governor has said a special session would be premature, I believe public safety can't wait another nine months.”
However, the co-chair of the medical marijuana working group and Republican state Sen. Greg McCortney claimed a special session was not needed.
In a meeting two weeks ago, an attorney for the Oklahoma State Health Department explained testing regulations could be dealt with without a special session.
"And now that we have heard from national experts on testing, we intend to work with the Health Department on a proposal for testing regulations and present it soon," said McCortney, R-Ada.
According to NewsOK, McCortney said he was angry with the Democrats’ attitude toward the situation.
"That is not leadership. It's political pandering," McCortney said. "Oklahomans deserve and expect better. This legislative working group is making good progress. We're doing in a few months what every other state has taken years to do."
It’s likely over the coming weeks the working group will consult with banking and tax experts.
Information provided by NewsOK.
The Gayly. 9/14/2018 @ 12:30 p.m. CST.