Oklahoma: Governor Vetoes Measure Expanding Medical Cannabis Access, Reducing Possession Penalties

Oklahoma City, OK: Republic Gov. Kevin Stitt has vetoed legislation, House Bill 3288, which sought to expand patients’ access to medical cannabis and make other amendments to the state’s marijuana laws.

In his veto message, the Governor wrote: “The language in the bill makes substantial policy changes to the medical marijuana program that were not fully scrutinized through normal legislative procedures before the bill was received by my office in the middle of the night Saturday. While there is much room for improvement in the way our state’s program operates, this bill does not address those items in a way I can support.”

The bill sought to allow operators to engage in the home delivery of medical cannabis products to authorized patients who live within a ten-mile radius of a state-licensed facility. Other provisions in the bill sought to enhance privacy protections for patients and caregivers registered in the program and strengthen parental rights for qualified patients.

Separate language in the measure amended criminal penalties for persons who possess marijuana (up to 42.45 grams) without a state-issued medical card from a maximum penalty of $1,000 and up to one year in jail to a $400 fine and no jail time.

Members of both chambers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the measure. However, Senate leadership refused to hold a vote in an effort to override the Governor’s veto prior to adjourning the 2020 legislative session sin die (with no intended date to resume). Local activists remain hopeful that lawmakers may revisit the measure, perhaps in a special session later this summer.     

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator.