As of early 2019, cannabis is legal for medical use in 30 states, along with Washington D.C. The number of states adopting progressive medical cannabis legislation continues to grow, and patients across the country are finally gaining access to much-needed treatments for a wide variety of ailments. Qualifying conditions depend on the state, though; in one state, an individual may qualify as a medical patient, while in another, they may not. Sounds confusing, right? Right.
Cannabis remains illegal on the federal level, thus, each state operates under a different set of legal standards. For example, the amount of cannabis an individual with a qualifying condition is allowed to legally possess varies widely, depending on state law. As could almost be expected, such huge discrepancies between state laws regarding medical cannabis can make traveling a bit tricky. Traveling across state lines while in possession of medical cannabis is generally considered illegal, no matter what, and airports are definitely a legal no-no. How, then, are medical cannabis patients supposed to access medication while traveling? If the state they are traveling to has also happened to legalize recreational cannabis, they might be in luck. But otherwise, they will likely be forced to go without.
A growing number of states now have legislation allowing medical marijuana patients from other states to possess or consume medical cannabis legally, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, and Washington D.C. Many of those, however, don’t allow out of state medical cannabis patients to actually visit the dispensaries themselves.
Oklahoma Joins the Ranks
Medical patients visiting Oklahoma will now be permitted to apply for temporary medical marijuana licenses, allowing patients with valid qualifying conditions in their home states to legally possess, consume, and even grow medical marijuana while visiting the state. Applications last up to 30 days and require paying a $100 fee in order to submit; temporary licenses can be renewed; however, a new fee is collected each time. In order to gain approval, medical cannabis patients must submit a digital, color copy of their out-of-state medical marijuana license, along with proof of identification, including a state ID, driver’s license, or U.S. passport.
Meanwhile, over 6,000 patients in the neighboring state of Arkansas are eager to apply for temporary permits in Oklahoma. Although these patients have already been approved, their medical cards have yet to arrive. Moreover, the state of Arkansas still hasn’t started actually dispensing medical cannabis.
According to Arkansas health systems department branch chief, Connie Melton, “Approved patients have called and requested that their card be made available so that they can take advantage of the Oklahoma visiting patient opportunity. And so[,] pending the outcome of the Marijuana Commission meeting next week and the scoring of the dispensaries, the agency anticipates issuing Arkansas Medical Marijuana Registry ID cards within the next 30 days.” Melton made that statement just recently, in early January of this year.
For a complete list of what is needed in order to apply for a temporary medical marijuana license in Oklahoma, along with further instructions, visit: http://omma.ok.gov/temporary-adult-patient-application-information1