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Two Groups Sue State Over Last-Minute Marijuana Regulations

Under State Question 788, medical marijuana patients will be able to grow a small number of marijuana plants at their home.

Two groups of Oklahomans have filed lawsuits to block last-minute additions to the state’s first-ever medical marijuana rules.

Marijuana advocacy group Green the Vote’s lawsuit filed in Oklahoma County against Gov. Mary Fallin and five board of health members accuses the members of holding a secret meeting before they voted earlier this week to approve amendments banning sales of smokable marijuana and requiring dispensaries to hire a pharmacist.

The group’s attorney Ronald Durbin said the alleged meeting violated Oklahoma’s Open Meetings Act.

“We believe we have evidence that there were behind the scenes negotiations and discussions among certain members that we’ve named in this lawsuit to bring forth the amendments that essentially destroy the intent of 788,” Durbin said at a press conference Friday.

No public comment was taken on the amendments since they weren’t part of the draft rules submitted by Oklahoma State Department of Health staff to the board for consideration. The amendments mirror recommendations outlined at a press conference earlier this week by health leaders and medical associations, including the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy.

A separate case against the state health department filed by eight people in Cleveland County, claims the board overstepped the rule-making authority it was given by voters when they approved State Question 788 in June.
A spokesperson for the state department of health declined to comment.

Jackie reported for StateImpact Oklahoma on a variety of topics and led its health reporting initiative. She holds a bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from Colorado State University and a Master of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder. When she's not reporting, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three cats.
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