The Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to send the legislation known as the Unity Bill to the full Senate for approval. Sen. Greg McCortney is the chair of the Rules Committee and Senate principal author of House Bill 2612, creating the safety and regulatory framework necessary for Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry after voters approved State Question 788 last June. The measure has already been approved by the House.
The legislation is the result of work by a bipartisan, bicameral task force co-chaired by McCortney, which began meeting last summer to tackle many of the regulatory issues not directly addressed in the state question, including testing and labeling, work place safety issues, employer and employee rights.
McCortney, R-Ada, stressed HB 2612 ensures the will of the people as expressed with the passage of S.Q. 788.
“I want to stress that the statute that came out of the vote of the people is still 100 percent intact, 100 percent in law,” McCortney said. “This builds on top of that language in 788 so that we will have regulatory framework that addresses the safety and logistical issues pertaining to the medical marijuana industry now in our state. Whether it is the health and well-being of those choosing this type of medication or issues related to extraction and manufacturing of the product, safety has been our utmost concern throughout this process.”
McCortney said the earliest HB 2612 could come to the floor for a vote would be next Monday. He said additional trailer bills will follow to address specific issues not detailed in the Unity Bill, including clarifying the authority cities and counties have, such as zoning issues.