UPDATED: Oklahoma’s Current Marijuana Laws 2022
2022 UPDATE of Oklahoma’s Marijuana Laws:
As of January 2022, possession and sale of recreational marijuana is still illegal in Oklahoma under Oklahoma Statutes Title 63 §2-101, et seq., also known as the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act.
Possession of recreational marijuana can lead to a misdemeanor charge with a penalty of up to 1 year or a fine of $10,000. Subsequent charges (or certain circumstances) can lead to increased penalties.
Selling recreational marijuana in Oklahoma is a felony punishable by between 2-10 years in person and/or a fine of up to $5000.
However , it’s important to note that marijuana use for medical purposes (medical marijuana) is allowed for certain conditions, in accordance with HB 2154 (approved in 2015) and SQ 788 (approved on June 26, 2018).
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Control Program (310:681-2-11):
- “All smokable, vaporized, vapable and e-cigarette medical marijuana and medical marijuana products smoked by a patient license holder are subject to the same restrictions for tobacco under Section 1-1521 et. seq. of Title 63 of Oklahoma statutes, commonly referred to as the “Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act.”
2021 UPDATE of Oklahoma’s Marijuana Laws:
Oklahoma’s marijuana laws continue to evolve as the medical marijuana industry grows to new heights in the state. Most of the 2021 changes, so far, have introduced stricter regulation on the growing and selling of medical marijuana:
- The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) is implementing a seed-to-sale monitoring system, tracking each individual marijuana plant and package from the farm to the point of sale.
- OMMA is also implementing a quality assurance program so that every package sold to customers will be up to standards set by the state.
- House Bill 2272 recently passed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and is being considered in the Senate. This bill would cap the number of commercial licenses that OMMA can distribute in an effort to combat organized crime from dominating the industry.
For the most part, these changes will not have much effect on the legality of possession and usage for the average Oklahoman. There is some discussion in the House of legalizing recreational marijuana via a state-wide referendum, but the bill that would introduce that referendum, HB 1961, is still being discussed in committee.
2020 UPDATE of Oklahomas Marijuana Laws:
The state of Oklahoma has changed some of its policies regarding marijuana possession and usage (Bill HB 26126 signed in March 2019) since this blog was originally posted. Citizens of Oklahoma with a medical marijuana license are permitted to have the following:
- Up to 8 ounces of marijuana at home
- Up to 3 ounces of marijuana on their person
- Up to 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana
- Up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana
- Up to 6 mature marijuana plants
- Up to 6 seedling plants
However, without a medical marijuana license, possessing more than 1.5 ounces of herbal cannabis will still lead to a misdemeanor charge (with the penalty of a fine, but no jail time).
The consumption of marijuana is legal in the home but illegal in public places. It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, but Oklahoma residents with a medical marijuana license are allowed to drive with the marijuana in their car (closed and out of reach from the driver) if they do not cross state lines.
Oklahoma’s current marijuana laws are quite different from those in some blue states and our Canadian neighbors to the north. Location matters just as much as the other facts of the situation when determining whether using marijuana is legal. Unfortunately, Oklahomans face comparably harsh penalties for using marijuana in the Sooner State.
Oklahoma’s Marijuana Laws
The state of Oklahoma has legalized the use of medical marijuana for those with certain medical conditions. However, there are plenty of questions as to how the medical marijuana program will be implemented. The sad truth is Oklahoma law enforcement has not taken action to simplify the legality surrounding marijuana. The confusion surrounding Oklahoma’s marijuana laws have spurred numerous meetings between state law enforcement and state lawmakers.
At the moment, Oklahoma’s medical marijuana rules state an individual without a state license will be subjected to a minimum of a $400 fine if he or she has 1.5 ounces or less of cannabis. However, if the individual in question does not have a medical condition that allows for the use of marijuana, the penalties will be substantially worse. It is particularly interesting to note Oklahoma has a distinct law that decriminalizes the possession of low level drugs. This is precisely why Oklahoma law enforcers are a bit confounded as to which laws should be followed. Some state police officers have stated they can rely on old laws to legally arrest those who possess marijuana without the state’s medical license. This means it is up to the law enforcement agent to either arrest an individual caught with marijuana or let the matter go with a mere fine.
The Specifics of the Sooner State’s Marijuana Laws
The Sooner State recently altered its marijuana laws with the passage of State Question 788. The new rules apply lower misdemeanor charges for drug possession. If an individual is found with 1.5 ounces or less of medical cannabis, $400 is the maximum fine he or she will face. There is no jail time for those found with 1.5 ounces or less of this variety of marijuana. In fact, it is even possible to file an appeal to have prior marijuana convictions altered to reflect the new rules. Though marijuana laws have clearly changed, it is still illegal for Oklahomans to possess or grow medical marijuana without the appropriate license.
Those who are approved for medical marijuana use in the state of Oklahoma are limited to certain CBD products. State lawmakers wrote the new marijuana rule to be CBD-specific. This means patients who qualify for the use of CBD products will be able to use marijuana to treat their condition as long as the CBD product does not have more than 3/10 of a single percentage of THC. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana.
What Oklahoma’s Law States About Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana
According to H.B. 1441, an individual who has a Schedule 1 controlled or chemical substance in his or her body when driving a motor vehicle will be jailed for a minimum of 10 days and upwards of an entire year or longer. Unfortunately, marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug. If an individual is found guilty of operating motor vehicle a second time while under the influence of marijuana, the sentencing will be even longer.
Some of those found guilty of crimes related to marijuana charges will lose more than their weed. Oklahoma law allows for any property or vehicles to be seized if they were involved in the charges relating to marijuana. Furthermore, it is possible for those convicted of cannabis-related crimes to have their driver’s license suspended for upwards of three years.
Recreational Cannabis in Oklahoma
At the moment, Oklahoma does not permit the use of recreational cannabis. Though cannabis laws are changing in some states, Oklahoma still limits cannabis consumption to those with certain medical problems. Thanks to State Question 7890 that went into effect in July of 2017, all marijuana charges in the state of Oklahoma are misdemeanor charges. It does not matter if the individual in question has a single marijuana offense or dozens of marijuana offenses; the possession charge will remain as a misdemeanor.
Furthermore, Oklahoma has a tax stamp law for those found with cannabis. Those in possession of illegal marijuana are forced to buy a stamp issued by the state of Oklahoma. This stamp is placed on the contraband. The per gram tax stamp rate is currently $3.50. Those who do not comply with the tax stamp law will face a penalty that is 200 times as severe as the tax stamp rate.
Can an Oklahoma Grower throw away Bad Plants?
The Oklahoma medical marijuana industry began in the fall of 2018, and as of this writing, is soaring every month in terms of sales and business activity. The number of consumers as well as the number of businesses continue to grow every quarter.
And with a growing industry, comes increasing government regulation, which then causes confusion (and sometimes anxiety and fear) among the small business owner who makes a living in this new cannabis economy.
This article will tackle one of the latest issues that Oklahoma cannabis growers are struggling with, and that is the issue of marijuana waste disposal.
Those who are involved in the business of commercial cannabis cultivation know that the business involves a lot of waste. For those who are unfamiliar with how large-scale grows operate, allow me to illustrate what we are talking about.
Why is there so much waste in Cannabis Cultivation?
In both indoor and outdoor grow operations, the operator is overseeing hundreds of plants, through all stages of the life cycle, which can be several months. Let’s illustrate further what it looks like in an indoor grow facility.
The grower starts with seeds. The grower plants many seeds, knowing that not all seeds will sprout. The grower plants 10 seeds, and only 4 sprout. Right there we have our first encounter with waste.
Next, the grower takes the seeds that have sprouted and puts them into a small container with soil (indoor growers usually “pop” seeds in water or small containers without soil).
The grower monitors these fragile little babies, hoping they will survive and something green with rise from the dirt. Once a green leaf has popped, we now have a plant. An incredibly fragile little plant.
The grower monitors these little seedlings, nudging them into growing into stable plants. But often times, these little guys die. Waste.
The plants that survive then grow from a tiny little seedling into something that actually resembles a plant. Now it’s time to transplant these seedlings into a larger container/pot with more soil, so the roots can grow and expand. Transplanting is stressful so. Stress increases the chances things will go wrong, and even die. Possibly more waste.
Now the plants are growing in their vegetative state. They are growing fast. They need to be pruned. The iconic weed leaf you’ve seen does not yield flower (bud). It is simply there to absorb light for photosynthesis. And your typical pot plant has a lot of fan leaves.
The grower knows what to do to maximize yield: trim off the fan leaves, and even the bottom branches that are less likely to receive a lot of light and focus on the top colas that will yield the bigger buds. Trim off the bottom half, focus on the top half. Waste.
Therefore, a primary task in cannabis cultivation is trimming. Which means lots and lots of waste.
Also, during the vegetative stage, the grower is cloning plants so that he/she does not have to resort to planting seeds again. Cloning means snipping a branch that has a “top” on it, and then planting that branch in a separate pot. If it survives, it will become a new cannabis plant. So another part of the business is maintaining a regular cloning schedule, such as cutting new clones bi-weekly. But not all clones survive. More waste.
There are two stages of photo-period cannabis plants:
- vegetative stage, and
- flowering stage.
Up until now, we’ve been discussing the vegetative state, where the plants are receiving more light than darkness (which mimics the summer months), and keeps the plants growing, but not flowering.
The next stage is to remove the amount of light so that the plants receive either equal or greater amount of darkness (such as in fall/autumn), and this triggers the plants to flower, which produces the bud.
In the flowering stage, the plants are even larger. Which means more trimming, and more waste.
And throughout all stages of the cannabis plant’s life cycle, the grower is battling pests and disease, which can cause plants to die. Which means more waste.
In every growth cycle, the grower will lose plants. The grower never harvests 100% of the plants he or she started with. There is always attrition. Too much water, not enough water, too much nutrients or nutrient deficiencies, mildew or mold from too much humidity, or attack from pests and mites, the grower is at war all the time, fighting to keep plants healthy and thriving. But 100% survival never happens, and therefore wasting plants is part of the business.
So now you have a clear picture of why there is an issue of waste in the cannabis cultivation. And when there is waste, there is an issue of disposal. What do you do with the waste? Throw it in the trash? Let’s discuss how Oklahoma law has addressed this issue.
Oklahoma Law allows some waste to be disposed of by the grower, but requires other forms of waste to be disposed of by a Waste Disposal Company
The Oklahoma legislature enacted new laws in 2019 that address medical marijuana waste disposal. What they did was limit what types of waste can be disposed of by the grower and what types of waste must be disposed of by a licensed waste disposal company.
Under current Oklahoma law, a medical marijuana grower can dispose of four types of waste without hiring a third-party disposal company:
- Root balls;
- Fan leaves; and
Essentially, the grower can basically dispose of anything during the Vegetative stage of cannabis. However, what is missing from that list is flowering plants and buds.
So as the grower battles disease and pests during the flowering stage, and therefore encounters attrition due to the same, the grower will now face the issue of disposing of bud rot and sick flowering plants. These are cannabis plants that have actual buds of them, but depending on the age of the plant, the buds could be tiny little pre-flowers or they could be full blown colas.
Oklahoma law requires the grower to document the amount of the waste in pounds and then to contact a licensed disposal company to pick up the wasted material.
What are legal methods of disposing of medical marijuana waste in Oklahoma?
So as long as the grower is disposing only of stems, roots, seeds, and fan leaves, the grower can destroy these by-products in-house without having to hire an independent disposal contractor.
Under the current law, the grower can use the following methods for disposal:
- Open Burning
- Any other method approved by the Department of Environmental Quality
However, the grower must abide by local laws. So if the grow facility is within city limits, it is very likely there is a local ordinance that prohibits open burning of trash. But rural growers may not have those same limitations.
If the grower chooses the method of “mulching” the waste, the grower may then remit that waste to a normal dump site or trash disposal.
Oklahoma Cannabis Growers must document their waste disposal in writing and maintain records.
Oklahoma law requires that growers document the amount of waste in writing. That means that your grow facility should keep a written log. Here are the steps your grow facility should take.
Before disposing of the waste (i.e. before you burn it, mulch it, etc.), the grow technician should first weigh the waste and document the weight in pounds.
- On the written log, first record the date.
- Then, write down the weight, in pounds, rounding to the third decimal.
- Next, write down the method of disposal (did you incinerate it, mulch it, bury it, etc).
- Last, the grow technician should sign off on it. This way, the grow facility has a log as to which employee handled the waste that day.
The reason for the last point is because of a section in the law that states: “Such documentation shall contain a witness affidavit and signature attesting to the lawful disposal of the medical marijuana waste under penalty of perjury.” Title 63, Section 429, Okla. Statutes.
The grow facility should maintain these logs for a period of five years.
Is the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Waste Management Act good policy?
All law first begins with policy; that is, the reason for the law. Laws are meant to solve problems. First, identify the problem. Then come up with a solution. The question of whether a law is good policy deals with whether the rule actually addresses the underlying problem.
In the case of medical marijuana disposal, the position of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is that such waste could hit the streets and further contribute to the black market.
However, consider what exactly would have to happen. Scouts for the Black Market would simulate a homeless person and go dumpster diving for composted and mulched bud rot. That’s right. The material being wasted is bud rot and plant material infected with other disease, such as powdery mildew and spider mites. And while those products could still be smoked and consumed, they could not be after utilization of one of the prescribed legal methods (composting, mulching, incineration, etc).
Therefore, it is the position of this law firm that the Oklahoma Waste management Act is not good policy, because it requires a grower to resort to additional expense in hiring an outside company to dispose of certain by products that could easily and safely be disposed of in-house.
Nevertheless, the law is the law, and if you intend to last in this business, you will need to comply with rule and document your compliance.
Contact Us for Cannabis Legal Consulting
Travis Charles Smith is an attorney based in Oklahoma City. His practice focuses on in civil lawsuits and winning at trial. Travis is an expert in Oklahoma medical marijuana laws. For consulting and representation, call 405-701-6016 or send us an email.
How to Buy Marijuana Seeds in Oklahoma
So you want to grow marijuana in Oklahoma? If you’re at the point where you’re ready for seeds, you’re at the start of a delightful journey. With over 200,000 other residents becoming medical marijuana patients just last year, it’s not surprising if you’ve had a hard time locating marijuana seeds.
If you’re looking for cannabis seeds online because you can’t find them in the stores, be forewarned that purchasing cannabis, cannabis-derived, or cannabis-byproduct items comes with a lot more red tape. It’s best to always proceed with caution because usually if it’s not outright illegal, companies selling seeds online are operating in a loomy grey area.
So Where Can I Buy Marijuana Seeds Legally in Oklahoma?
The good news is that you live in a state with a BOOMING medical marijuana market. However, it is important to remember we’re in the early stages of an industry that has operated in the black market for the better part 80 years.
It’s going to take some time before you can walk into any local dispensary, and they’ll have seeds and clones in stock like grocery stores always have cereal.
If you googled “How to Buy Marijuana Seeds in Oklahoma,” you probably came across tons of options online. But if you want to be fully compliant and buy seeds risk-free, two things have to happen:
First, if you’re not a registered medical cannabis patient already, you need to get registered! The fast and short of it is, you need to get a medical evaluation done by a state-licensed physician and submit the evaluation papers to the state along with a medical marijuana application.
You can get an online Oklahoma medical marijuana evaluation with NuggMD.com for just $99! All doctors working with their platform are fully licensed in the state for which they provide recommendations.
Once approved and your card arrives in the mail, you’re free to go to any dispensary in the state. But you will save yourself a lot of headaches by calling the dispensary first to see if they have any seeds available.
The next part is fun, which is picking the strains, seeds, or clones that are right for you. At the bottom of this article,we’ve included a list of dispensaries in Oklahoma that carry seeds.
Which is better—seeds or clones?
This largely depends on who you talk to. If you talk to 10 different growers, you’re likely to get ten different answers. However, while growing from seeds can feel pretty straightforward, there are some things to be mindful of.
When you plant a batch of seeds, some of the seeds can sprout male and others female. You don’t want any male plants in your crop because they will pollinate the female plants, which will lead to your cannabis buds becoming heavily seeded.
While most seed farms claim only to sell feminized seeds (meaning the seeds will only grow into female plants), it’s not uncommon for a few male plants to sprout up. If you do your due diligence and find a good seed company, you shouldn’t have a problem with feminized seeds, but it’s always better to air on the side of caution.
On the other hand, seeds can be just as beneficial for starting a crop. Plants started from seed have been known to yield more product. This might be due to the fact that plants started from seed have something called a Taproot. A taproot is the central part of a cannabis plant’s root system, and it extends deep into the soil, absorbing lots of nutrients.
Starting with clones comes with an equal set of challenges and benefits, but if you’re buying them in a dispensary, all of the upfront work will likely be done. In most cases, the dispensary will sell you a clone with an existing root mass, which is usually the most significant challenge when starting from a clone.
With that being said, as a grower, you have to be thorough in inspecting plants before you bring them into your crop. Since you’re going to invest a good bit of time, energy, and resources into these plants, you want to ensure that they are healthy and have a lot of yielding potential.
If you do your due diligence and buy quality clones from a good dispensary, there are many upsides and hassles that you get to avoid. It can be easier because the clone will already be female, and you won’t have to worry about male plants sprouting up in your crop and causing problems due to their pollination.
Additionally, you have the advantage of your plants being ready for the vegetative stage of the growth cycle much sooner than if you planted from seed; meaning you will have a shorter wait time till your plants are ready to yield.
While there are upsides to both approaches, you must take your time and do enough research. You should feel confident about whatever direction you decide is best.
Where Do Dispensaries Get Their First Seeds or Clones?
Believe it or not, there’s not a straightforward answer to this—at least one that anyone is willing to talk about. With 33 states now offering some form of legal marijuana, the vast majority of legislation doesn’t specify where first-time growers are supposed to acquire their seeds from. One article referred to it as immaculate inception or the first seed problem.
Here’s a rundown of the story:
- First-time growers have to acquire seeds or clones from somewhere, and lawmakers know this.
- Lawmakers turn their heads the other way as entrepreneurs have to break the law to get their business started.
- Lawmakers are placed between a rock and a hard place because cannabis is federally illegal. They can not permit first-time growers to acquire marijuana from growers in other states.
The entire system doesn’t make a ton of sense, but it’s a direct result of the ambiguity surrounding cannabis legalization. Whether it’s with law enforcement, entrepreneurs, or patients, it’s safe to say everyone is ready for more certainty and safety regarding legal cannabis.
Are Online Seed Banks Safe?
It is illegal to purchase cannabis, cannabis-derived, or cannabis-byproduct items from states outside of Oklahoma. Whereas many of these companies,
- Ship from outside of the US
- Consider cannabis seeds as novelty items and sale them as such and,
- Ship seeds in very inconspicuous packaging or hide them in miscellaneous items like t-shirts or coffee mugs.
If this were entirely legal, then none of those methods mentioned above would be necessary.
Furthermore, as a buyer dealing with illicit companies, you are burdened by not knowing if your package will ever be delivered. None of the online seed companies can guarantee your delivery through the US mail. Not to mention, in the off chance your package gets intercepted, it’s possible that you could get charged with trafficking.
And if you’re still not convinced that it’s not worth it, many companies are selling seeds from non-psychoactive CBD plants but listing them on their websites as popular THC-dominant strains like OG kush.
The vast majority of online seed bank companies operate in illicit and loomy grey areas at best.
While it seems less convenient than making your purchase online, in this instance it’s better to head on down to a dispensary, get a professional opinion, and pick your seeds up in person!