The full Senate has given approval to Senate Bill 162 aimed at improving safety in the medical marijuana available to Oklahoma patients as well as clarifying the qualifications for doctors who may provide the recommendation letters required for patients. The bill is authored by Sen. Rob Standridge.
“SB 162 will limit the batch size for testing to ten pounds, which is the industry standard in other states with medical marijuana,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “Limiting the batch size is a quality control measure that will result in more accurate results, better ensuring the safety of the product for patients. It also helps our small, local producers. Keeping the batch size small keeps their costs lower.”
Standridge said the bill also contains language addressing the qualifications of physicians authorized to provide recommendation letters for patients. He pointed to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) announcement in January that nearly 450 patients would have to resubmit the mandatory physician recommendation letters because they’d come from doctors who were not “board-certified,” a term that was in the state question language approved by voters last year.
“A board-certified doctor is someone who is a specialist, like a plastic surgeon or gastroenterologist. It has nothing to do with their ability to recommend a person for medical marijuana—but those two words mean many qualified physicians cannot make recommendations, forcing patients to use expensive specialists,” said Standridge. “It’s my understanding that’s really not what backers intended. They just wanted to make sure people were going to doctors who were properly licensed to practice in Oklahoma. This bill simply clarifies the statute.”