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Two lawmakers have announced plans for legislation that would strip the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board of one of its main functions – determining what serious medical conditions entitle patients to legally use marijuana products.
Under the proposal, patients would be entitled to use marijuana for any medical condition if their doctors determine they could benefit from it.
In April, sales in Oklahoma shot up to $61.5 million, a 21% increase from March.
Sales rose again in May to reach nearly $74 million – a monthly figure that far exceeds that of adult-use markets in Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan and Nevada.
With more than $275 million in MMJ sales in 2020 to date, Oklahoma’s market could easily eclipse $700 million by the end of the year – in the same ballpark as more populous states such as Arizona and Florida.
Patient counts have skyrocketed throughout 2019 as well, up to nearly 210,000 as of Nov. 1. That’s more than eightfold what the registries had at the end of 2018 when patient counts hovered around 25,000.
More than 5% of Oklahoma’s population is now registered as medical cannabis patients, exceeding any other program in the nation.
Oklahoma’s industry also is as close to a free-market system as there is in the U.S. cannabis industry, which has spurred the program’s red-hot start.
Under State Question 788, the bill legalizing MMJ in Oklahoma:
An analysis of state markets that release patient counts on at least a quarterly basis reveals several key takeaways:
“We were driving up, taking our kids to camp to stay for a week,” said Paul Chabot, whose five children range in age from 6 to 12. “As soon as we crossed the Texas border we began to see a number of billboards popping up. We play games with our kids, reading the billboards. We couldn't play that game anymore. I was really disappointed.
"My wife and I took our kids to Broken Bow last year and we don't remember seeing signs like that. It just exploded. It seems like they were popping up every couple miles.”