Oklahoma OKs Weed Delivery and Medical Marijuana Sales for Out-of-State Visitors
Most states with legal medical or recreational cannabis have played it safe by establishing a lot of restrictions around who can access the plant. But Oklahoma, the Cowboy Capital, is blazing its own trail.
Published on May 20, 2020

The Oklahoma legislature approved a new bill on Friday that allows home deliveries of medical cannabis products. The bill also permits out-of-state residents to purchase and possess medical cannabis in-state, an uncommon policy in the US cannabis landscape.

Many cannabis patients live with physical disabilities, which can make regular trips to the dispensary difficult if not life-threatening, in some cases. Under the new law, filed as HB 3228, licensed dispensaries may deliver THC-containing products to a patient’s home, so long as the patient resides within a 10-mile radius. If a pot shop isn’t within that distance, the nearest dispensary can deliver to the home, so long as both the business and the residence are located within the same county.

The law also allows out-of-state residents to buy Oklahoma’s medical marijuana, even if the individual is not a registered cannabis patient in their home state. Out-of-state patients may apply for temporary 30-day licenses so long as they’ve been diagnosed with one of Oklahoma’s qualifying conditions. But even if the out-of-stater doesn’t get the temporary license, they’ll only face a misdemeanor charge if caught with weed — again, so long as they’ve got a qualifying condition.

And considering how much a reduced misdemeanor charge can rack up in court fees and other penalties, the $100 cost of the temporary license is reasonable. Also, out-of-state patients cannot take their weed back home, since federal guidelines bar the transport of licensed pot products across state lines.

According to Marijuana Moment, the first version of HB 3228 cleared the House in March with a 90-6 vote. The latest Senate version passed 38-5. It’s next stop: Governor Kevin Stitt’s desk to be officially signed into law. Stitt will likely sign it. After all, last year, he said there was no point to legalizing recreational weed in Oklahoma since the medical program “looks a lot like recreational.” Although we don’t necessarily agree, this new temporary license program would vibe with his particular outlook.

Regardless, Oklahoma’s temporary license program is rare in the regulated medical cannabis scene. Some states, such as Maine and Michigan, as well as Washington, DC, recognize medical reciprocity. In other words, if you’re a registered medical marijuana patient in your home state, and your state also observes reciprocity, then you can purchase medical weed at a reciprocity dispensary with your out-of-state medical card. 

The only other state that allows non-residents to buy cannabis without having cards from back home is California. And it's something more states should consider next time their lawmakers are in session.

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Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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