Oklahoma fast-tracking medical marijuana, but with pushback

National / World
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FILE – In this June 17, 2015 file photo, marijuana plants grow at LifeLine Labs in Cottage Grove, Minn. Minnesota health officials will allow residents with chronic pain to buy medical marijuana starting in August, they announced Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in a long-awaited decision that could expand enrollment in the state’s struggling program by […]

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma is pushing ahead on medical marijuana after local voters approved one of least restrictive laws in the U.S., with the state health department approving emergency rules aimed at fast-tracking the industry into business.

But the health department on Tuesday also tacked on two requirements that medical marijuana advocates say will only slow things down with legal wrangling.

The Oklahoma Board of Health said the state won’t allow the sale of smokable cannabis and that dispensaries must have a pharmacist on staff. The board’s own attorney advised against the additions.

A group of medical professionals that opposed medical marijuana pushed for the stricter guidelines.

Residents in the traditionally conservative state voted to legalize medical marijuana on June 26, with nearly 57 percent of the vote. The law is scheduled to take effect 60 days after approval.

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