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Oklahoma Voters Prepare to Vote for Medical Marijuana Legalization

Medical marijuana will be high on the list of topics Oklahoma’s voters consider as they head to the polls on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, for their primary election.

In addition to selecting party candidates for November’s general election, voters in the Sooner State will get to cast their ballots on the timely topic of legalizing medical marijuana with State Question 788.

Oklahoma’s ballot initiative was approved for circulation by the Secretary of State in late April. State Question 788 seeks to legalize, tax, and regulate medicinal cannabis and would establish the framework under which Oklahoma dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processors could legally operate under the guidance of the Oklahoma Department Of Health.
Tulsa World

State Question 788, in addition to allowing qualified patients the use of medicinal cannabis, would grant licensed medical marijuana patients the right to cultivate up to six mature plants.

If passed, State Question 788 would allow qualified patients to:

  • legally consume marijuana
  • legally possess up to 3 ounces, or 85 grams, of marijuana on their person
  • legally grow up to six mature marijuana plants
  • possess no more than six seedlings (starters)
  • legally possess no more than 1 ounce, or 28.35 grams, of marijuana concentrates
  • legally possess 8 ounces of marijuana in their residence
  • State Question 788 would legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma for any doctor-authorized
  • condition. The ballot language states:

“This measure amends the Oklahoma State Statutes. A yes vote legalizes the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes. A license is required for use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes and must be approved by an Oklahoma Board Certified Physician.”

If State Question 788 passes on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, medical marijuana cards and licenses would be issued by the Oklahoma Department of Health (DOH), which will have 60 days after passage to establish their regulatory office and 30 days to post applicable information on the DOH website. Good for one year, Oklahoma’s medical marijuana licenses will typically cost $100 per applicant, and $20 for Medicaid patients.

Recent polling conducted by SoonerPoll.com suggests medical marijuana could very well be made legal after Tuesday’s primary vote.

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Canada’s Legalization Vote Marks a Cultural Shift Toward Normalizing Marijuana

With Canada’s Senate successfully passing Bill C-45 on Tuesday June 19, 2018, this monumental vote for cannabis legalization is not just historic, it represents a significant shift in the understanding of marijuana as both a medicine and a social norm. A G7 nation has ended an almost century-long prohibition and in its place, enacted a complex framework of licensing and retail scenarios across the country.

Senators voted 52-29 to make marijuana legal nationwide. Two senators abstained.

Along the way toward legislation being passed, a deluge of criticism followed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet. It started with the Liberals’ rival New Democratic Party (NDP)  denouncing Trudeau for refusing to decriminalize pot and instead opt for the creation of a legal cultivation and retail market.

Although the idea of making money off the truckloads of cannabis Canadians consume is a sound business decision, Trudeau allowed thousands of Canadians to be arrested and charged by not decriminalizing something that was scheduled to no longer be criminal in the future.

Further to that point, the prime minister raised eyebrows when he refused to do something about the border problems Canada started having with the United States.

US Customs and Border Protection officers in recent years have taken it upon themselves to ask Canadians whether they have ever consumed weed. Not consumed that day, or that week — they are asking whether the person in question has ever consumed in their lifetime.

Naturally, many Canadians have answered yes, and that admission has led to a lifetime ban from crossing the border into the US.

“Canadians appreciate that we don’t let other countries or other leaders dictate who or how we let people into our country,” the prime minister said in September 2017. “So I’m not going to tell Americans how to make decisions about who they let into their country either.”

Speaking of international woes, there is still the matter of how Canada will deal with three international drug treaties it was a party to in the last few decades. At this point there has been little evidence that Canada is planning to address the issue.

Then, there was the controversy regarding the significant increase in law enforcement over the last two years to wipe out all unlicensed dispensaries ahead of legalization. This move effectively cut out many activists and advocates who were partially responsible for legalization being a reality in the first place, as opening a licensed facility takes a significant amount of capital.

The list of complaints goes on and on, but there are positives.

Cannabis use will soon be normalized in Canada more than it has ever been. Anyone who has enjoyed marijuana over the last several years understands the clandestine nature that is required for the activity, but for Canadians enjoying a joint at a get together could soon be as normal as having a beer.

Another benefit to a fully legal regime, despite the bumps to get here, is the gargantuan amount of business the new sector will create — not to mention the vast amounts of income.

Last but certainly not least, Canadians will no longer be prosecuted for possession of cannabis and that cannabis will come from a store approved by a government body. That is still leaps and bounds ahead of buying it off a guy in the park.

Recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018. The path to get to this point was not always pretty, but we still made it.

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Curious About Cannabis? Sativa Science Club is Here to Help

Portland’s Sativa Science Club, a serious science and business school, seeks to fill an important need in the cannabis industry: educating people. The first academic program of its kind — independent of any of Oregon’s 510 dispensaries, law offices, and investment companies – it opened its classroom doors in June 2017. And, like the rest of the industry, it’s been working full-on ever since.

Mary J. Poppins, formerly a professional botanist with a degree in Sustainable Business Management from Portland State University, founded the Sativa Science Club after having spent several years working on a pot farm in California’s Emerald Triangle — the northern counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity that are the largest cannabis-growing region in the US.

“The purpose is to help the front-lines workforce, such as budtenders, to be able to confidently describe the differences between cannabis genotype and phenotype, so they can guide their customers to appropriate products, based on chemotypic data rather than relying on the Indica-Sativa binary,” Poppins told Marijuana.com.

The Sativa Science Club offers a 20-course certification program that includes classes in botany, cannabis compounds, terpenes, the endocannabinioid system, hemp, consumption methods, compassionate client care, and more.

“The students who seek certification must go through a comprehensive Core Science Certification program that involves learning the fundamentals of cannabis science and client care.”

The certification program then expands on the initial platform through a curriculum involving lectures given by leading cannabis experts and scientists from all over the world.

A team of Harvard Medical alumni will review and approve the 2019 curriculum, Poppins said.

“We’re trying to raise the bar for the cannabis industry as a whole by increasing knowledge and dispelling misconceptions,” said Poppins. “Education is the best way to do that.”

With 68 percent of the US voting population supporting the legalization of cannabis, some might assume that quite a few people are consuming it and more have questions about it.

The Sativa Science Club also caters to the less academic, cannabis-curious individuals by offering single lectures, pop-up events and community campaigns.

Although under Oregon’s Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), cannabis cannot be consumed at retail outlets, in rental cars, or even outdoors in public spaces, cannabis tourism is booming in the form of dispensary tours, 420-friendly hostels and rentals, and a plethora of marijuana-themed activities.

As such, out-of-towners often wander into the Sativa Science Club.

“We get people from all over the world who come in for individual courses or shorter series. We’ve had Australians, Irish, British…some who’ve never smoked cannabis but are curious and want solid information,” Poppins said.

Apart from the far-flung visitors, course attendees that most surprised Poppins were members of what Oregon calls its “Honored Citizens.”

“I expected budtenders, small business owners, people needing information on medical cannabis…but one of the most popular demographics are seniors!”

No surprise there. Baby boomers are the fastest-growing and largest cannabis consumer group in the country.

“We do educational events where they live and hire buses to take them shopping for their cannabis products,” said Poppins, 30. “The seniors are very engaged. They’ve known about cannabis for much longer than we have.”