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Oklahoma: Expanded Protections for Cannabis Patients Take Effect

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Oklahoma City: Legislation takes effect Friday expanding protections for state-qualified medical cannabis patients.

House Bill 2612, which was signed into law in March, will go into effect on Friday, August 30. It strengthens patient protections by explicitly stipulating that registered cannabis consumers may not be denied public assistance, access to firearms, or certain types of employment solely based upon their patient status. It states, "No employer may refuse to hire, discipline, discharge or otherwise penalize an applicant or employee solely on the basis of a positive test for marijuana components or metabolites."

Oklahoma is the fifteenth state to explicitly protect medical cannabis patients from workplace discrimination, according to California NORML.

The new law also seeks to facilitate standards for banks who wish to partner with medical cannabis businesses, and prohibits local governments enacting "guidelines which restrict or interfere with the rights of a licensed patient or caregiver to possess, purchase, cultivate or transport medical marijuana." It also allows podiatrists to make medical cannabis recommendations, among other changes.

Over 146,000 Oklahomans are registered with the state to access medical cannabis therapy.

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator, at (202) 483-5500.