Oklahoma Health Department Passes Rules Requiring Physicians to Give Women Pregnancy Tests Before Recommending Medical Cannabis

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has voted on emergency rules for the implementation of the recently-approved medical cannabis legalization initiative, and they are… well… ridiculous.

Among the rules approved by the Health Department is a complete ban on dispensaries selling smokeable marijuana, instead requiring patients to rely on other methods such as edibles and topicals. Other rules include requiring dispensaries to be managed by a licensed healthcare professional such as a pharmacist and requiring them to be closed on Sundays.

Another rule passed by the department, one that is absurdly sexist and antiquated, states that physicians can’t recommend medical cannabis to a woman of childbearing age without first performing a pregnancy test.

Below is a list of additional rules approved by the department, according to Tulsa World:

• Medical marijuana products processed or dispensed shall not have more than 12 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, while mature marijuana plants cannot be processed for sale if the THC content exceeds 20 percent.

• Home-grown medical marijuana plants shall be kept behind a fence at least 6 feet tall under lock and key and not be visible from any street. Those who are prescribed smokable medical marijuana, according to the draft, would be subject to the same restrictions on public consumption as those who smoke tobacco, with an added provision banning use in the presence of a minor.

• Commercial license applications would be accepted no earlier than 60 days from when the state question was approved. Applicants would have to show that the proposed business location is at least 1,000 feet from a school or church.

• Commercial license holders would not be authorized to have seedlings until Sept. 3, and they, along with patient license holders, wouldn’t be able to have mature plants until Oct. 26.

• Physicians, only licensed doctors of medicine or osteopathy, who anticipate recommending marijuana treatment would be required to register with the Health Department before such recommendations are made, and they would have to review their recommendations at least once annually. They also would have to screen patients for substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as whether the patient presents a “risk for the diversion of marijuana.”

• Recommendations for a minor patient would have to come within 30 days of each other from two pediatricians or a doctor who is board certified in a pediatric specialty. If approved, pediatric patients would not be allowed to use smokable or vapable medical marijuana products.

• No medical marijuana products could be made enticing to children, such as candy, fake cigarettes or gummies.

• A 7 percent tax would be collected by dispensaries.

• Purchase limits: 1-ounce limit of marijuana concentrate, 3-ounce limit on usable marijuana and/or 72-ounces on medical marijuana products (all per a single transaction between a dispensary and licensed patient or caregiver)

• No “free” or “donated” products, which includes a prohibition on promotions such as giveaways and coupons.

• Commercial establishments could not sell marijuana seedlings or mature plants.

Emily Watkins is a PhD student majoring in public policy. Emily has been a freelance editor for numerous websites, and has spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help legalize marijuana. She currently resides in Los Angeles, and can be reached at Watkins.MarijuanaHerald@Gmail.com.

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