New cannabis laws in Oklahoma that were enacted as of June 27, 2018, have legalized businesses cultivating, processing, and selling cannabis for medical applications.
Recreational use continues to be illegal. However, State Question 780 voted on in November 2016 and which came into effect in July 2017, made all cannabis possession charges misdemeanors. Selling cannabis for recreational purposes or without proper licensing for the state continues to be a felony charge. Similarly, manufacturing, growing, and cultivating cannabis are felonies if unlicensed and/or for recreational purposes.
Cannabis Opportunities in Oklahoma
While the Sooner State has some catching up to do relative to some other states, the trend is toward the legalization of cannabis. Dispensaries that open under the existing laws allowing the sale of medical cannabis may be well positioned should more relaxed laws be passed.
In the meantime, medical cannabis applications may prove to be a lucrative market, especially for early movers.
How to Open a Dispensary in Oklahoma
All marijuana dispensaries in Oklahoma must be for medical applications only. The Oklahoma State Department of Health oversees them. All applicants seeking licensing from the state must meet at least the following qualifications:
- Applicant must be at least 25 years old
- Applicant must reside in Oklahoma
- The business must be registered in the state and meet other licensing requirements
- At least 75% of the entity’s ownership must be held by Oklahoma residents
Applications can be submitted online. The process is relatively simple and primarily asks for information on the owners. However, a background check, Certificate of Good Standing, and Affidavit of Lawful Presence must all be submitted.
The application fee to license a growing or processing business or a dispensary is $2,500. Transportation licenses can be acquired but only by holders of existing licenses. As such, standalone transportation businesses cannot be licensed.
Starting a cannabis cultivating or processing business in Oklahoma, from a legal standpoint, is much the same as opening a dispensary. The requirements for licensing are the same regardless of the business type.