Various bills have recently been filed in Oklahoma regarding the production, use, and regulation of cannabis. Lawmakers are proposing many changes to the state’s marijuana industry, including a $25,000 bond requirement – regulated by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA).
The state is also considering adding marijuana rights to the Constitution. During the 2022 November election season, Oklahoma residents could vote for or against adding recreational and medical marijuana to their state Constitution.
The state has already legalized medical marijuana. The proposed legislation would be a constitutional amendment that solidifies the rights of marijuana businesses and users. It would also give the OMMA more independence and the Oklahoma Cannabis Commission designation – with the rights to handle marijuana regulation, consumer safety, and more.
After a 90-day petition period that starts between May 24 and June 9, ORCA (Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action) must get 95,000 signatures to get the legislation onto the November ballot.
A Little Background on the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry
In 2018, Oklahoma voters approved one of the country’s most progressive medical marijuana programs. It included granting doctors the power to recommend medical marijuana for any patient ailment and an unlimited cap on the number of business licenses applicants could receive. The state paved the way for medical marijuana legalization in numerous other states.
Almost 10% of Oklahomans (out of 4 million total residents) have qualified for a medical-use card. This is by far the largest percentage of any state in the nation.
In mid-April 2022, two plans were approved to amend the Oklahoma Constitution: State Question 819 and State Question 818. State Question 820 would amend state statute and has already been cleared by the high court.
Other Important Oklahoma Bills on the Docket
Here are some other noteworthy bills and state questions that would impact the Oklahoma marijuana industry if passed in the 2022 session.
- State Question 818: “The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Enforcement and Anti-Corruption Act” would regulate hemp, cannabis, marijuana, and plant-based medicine. It would also create a state agency (Oklahoma State Cannabis Commission), audit the current medical marijuana program, establish the Commission Board, and more.
- State Question 819: “The Oklahoma Marijuana Regulation and Right to Use Act” would grant the right of anyone 21 or older to use marijuana.
- State Question 820: This measure would generally legalize, tax, and regulate adult-use marijuana under state law. It would not alter the rights of medical marijuana licensees or patients.
- LEAD Act Bill: HB 4455, “The Large-Scale Economic Activity Development Act,” offers incentives for Oklahoma businesses to create enhanced economic development in the state. The bill provides a 3.4% rebate for businesses that make qualified investments. Companies must make $3.6 billion or more in capital expenditures and create 500 or more direct jobs in the first year. The Oklahoma state governor approved this bill on April 25, 2022.
Bill SB 1697 Includes a $25,000 Bond Requirement
In April 2022, the House passed a bill requiring anyone applying for a medical marijuana commercial grower’s license, as well as commercial grower licensees, to file a bond of at least $25,000 with the OMMA. This bond is required before applicants can receive or renew a license.
Applicants must file a bond for each license they seek or hold. The bond acts as money set aside in case a marijuana grow is abandoned – so the property can be reclaimed and restored. The bond requirement may be higher, depending on how difficult the OMMA considers reclamation (factoring in the hydrology, topography, and revegetation potential).
The bill was initially proposed after residents and counties throughout Oklahoma dealt with fallout due to abandoned growth operations and destroyed property.
Apply for Your Cannabis Bond Today
Do you need a cannabis bond in Oklahoma or another marijuana-legal state? Contact us with any questions about bonding, or start your application by visiting the Marijuana Bonds page on our website. You can reach us by phone (888.435.4191) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.