It’s not surprising that the rising medical cannabis industry in Oklahoma has left an impact on the state. With such a progressive program, the state is definitely moving forward and the people are grateful.
The steps the state lawmakers took has been one of the main reasons why this industry could become a billion dollar one in no time. These lawmakers just need to make sure that the industry is balanced and that everything is in equilibrium. Let’s look into the situation in Oklahoma today.
Massive Pool of Medical Marijuana Patients
In other states, being a medical marijuana patient meant that you have a qualifying condition that’s part of the official list. If your condition is not part of it, there’s no way you could get approved for that form of treatment.
Oklahoma isn’t your typical state. Here, patients can apply for medical marijuana and get approved if they doctor deems it suitable for them to take medical marijuana.
Regardless if it’s a common kind of condition or not. Having no restrictions, a lot of patients have applied for the treatment and they’re getting approved by the thousands. As of June 17, 2019, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s Twitter account updated that there have been over 144,000 patient and 1,118 caregiver applications received.
In the same tweet, they stated that there are already about 138,000 patients and 879 caregivers in the state. That’s a really big pool of patients fighting for the supply of marijuana.
But that’s not the only reason why people are sending in applications. Several of the patients have seen the best kind of treatment for their pains and long-time conditions. The prices are also quite acceptable and the state maintains their fairness when it comes to dealings.
Booming Medical Cannabis Businesses
More than just a spike in the number of medical cannabis patients, a lot of business licenses have also been released in the past year. From growers, cultivators, and dispensaries, licenses are also being approved by the hundreds.
According to the latest update from Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s Twitter account, the agency has received over 5,800 business applications.
They also gave an update on the number of business licenses in the state. currently, there are 3,211 growers, 1,548 dispensaries, and 859 processor licenses that have been approved.
The numbers are large and it’s only about time when these businesses will fight for who gets to be the top grower, producer, and dispensary. It won’t be long before the numbers will slowly decline until only the best are left.
But on the bright side, having such a massive pool of patients and still being so new, there’s still a lot of room for these dispensaries to leave them marks and make their pitch to these new clients. Let’s just hope that these dispensaries will be able to meet the demands of the patients and stay in the game. It will take some time before we can see which businesses will survive the battle.
Thousands of Applications at OK’s Marijuana Agency
While it’s a good thing that patients are enjoying their freedom to apply to the program, the number of applications has taken a toll on the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. With such a number, they’re having a hard time finishing all of the applications in time.
According to their policy, they need to finish each application within 14 days. That seems doable if you have a lot of people on your team and you work 24 hours a day. But for the OMMA, they decided to close down their customer service department and transfer their staff to review applications last February.
Each employee reviews about 500 patient applications every day. Not being able to work on weekends means that they have backlogs each week that they need to catch up to. Shutting down their customer service department has also been such a drastic change but they know it was a necessary move.
Because of this, the House Rules Committee recently passed an amended version of the Senate Bill 1030. Within this amended version is the proposition to extend the decision time for each application up to 90 days.
It might have a negative impact on those who apply after it gets approved, but it’s clearly such a big help for the agency. Having more time to review and process their applications would mean that they could go back to their normal operations.
The industry has both good and bad effects on Oklahoma. The number of patients are increasing and businesses are mushrooming here and there. The agency’s also taking big amounts of applications. It will take some time before everything calms down and normal operations will take place. if you want to become a medical marijuana patient, take a look at the website here.