Oklahoma governor: No special session needed on marijuana

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said Friday she won’t call lawmakers into a special legislative session on newly legalized medical marijuana after all.

The term-limited Republican said in a statement she had conferred with House and Senate leaders and they decided emergency rules from the state health department will suffice in safely allowing medicinal use of cannabis. Before Tuesday’s election that saw voters in the traditionally conservative state approve State Question 788 , Fallin had warned that the proposal was too broadly written and that a special session to tighten regulations would be required if it passed

“The Health Department has been working with other agencies the past several months to develop a medical and proper regulatory framework to make sure marijuana use is truly for valid medical reasons,” Fallin said Friday. “If circumstances develop that adjustments to the Health Department rules are necessary, those can be addressed when lawmakers return in regular session early next year.”

GOP state Senate leader Greg Treat said after the election that members of his party, the majority, were not interested in returning to the state Capitol for a special session. He said the Legislature would honor the will of the voters.

State Question 788 says applications for a medical marijuana license must be available on the health department’s website within 30 days of voters signing off. A regulatory office to receive applications for licenses, recipients and dispensary growers must be operating within 60 days.

Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates said state health officials will meet July 10 to consider emergency rules for the new Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. Application information and requirements will be available on the agency’s website by July 26, and applications will be accepted by Aug. 25.

Oklahoma’s was the first marijuana question on a state ballot in the U.S. in 2018, with elections scheduled for later this year in Michigan and Utah.