Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Greg Treat today announced the creation of a bi-partisan working group of House and Senate members to begin working with all medical marijuana stakeholders to determine a path forward for implementation that conforms to the will of the voters who recently approved State Question 788.
“We have an obligation to voters to get this right,” said Speaker McCall, R-Atoka. “The House is committed to implementing the will of our citizens in a responsible way that respects the desire of voters while also protecting public safety and addressing concerns from the business and medical communities. We have many lawmakers who want to be involved in crafting a permanent regulatory framework more in line with what the voters want and expect. This group will begin evaluating the Department of Health’s recently adopted and approved rules and meeting with the governor’s office, medical marijuana industry representatives, Health Department officials, healthcare providers and other stakeholders to determine the best approach forward.”
“The Oklahoma Senate will not undo the will of voters, who spoke loudly by passing State Question 788,” said Sen. Treat, R-Edmond. “While the Health Department and its commissioner did yeoman’s work in drafting emergency rules, the Board of Health’s adoption of last-minute amendments without public comments has undermined the public’s confidence in the system. Lawmakers have the ability to amend this law as we move forward to address any issues which may arise. A group of senators has been working diligently on this issue since April, and the new bipartisan, bicameral working group will be able to build upon that work. Lawmakers will work with all stakeholders to ensure we get this right. The legislative working group will help ensure a stable and effective regulatory framework is put in place so that State Question 788 can be implemented efficiently, effectively and safely in accordance with the will of Oklahoma voters.”
Speaker McCall and Pro-Tem-designate Treat will announce members of the working group early next week. The group has no set timetable yet for meeting or making recommendations.