pot rules
Interim Oklahoma Commissioner of Health Tom Bates, center, listens as the Oklahoma Board of Health begins its meeting Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (William W. Savage III)

At its July 10 meeting, the Oklahoma Board of Health failed in an attempt to approve its own minutes from a previous meeting. The administrative goof hardly affected the health of Oklahomans, but it set the stage for a strange day that befuddled onlookers and left many voters feeling their government was undermining the medical marijuana statutes they had passed only two weeks earlier.

In this week’s episode of our How We Got Here podcast with FKG Consulting, Rep. Emily Virgin (D-Norman) joins Bryan Fried, Ryan Kilpatrick and William W. Savage III to discuss the board’s actions and what might come next.

Those actions included approving emergency medical marijuana rules but with a surprising amendment to prohibit the sale of marijuana that could be smoked. The additional rule specifies that cannabis can only be dispensed to patients in the form of pills, oils, topical creams or ointments, vaporization or nebulization, tincture (the dissolving of a substance in alcohol) or liquid. The board also amended the new pot rules to require dispensaries to employ a pharmacist on site during hours of operation.

Combined, the two rules resulted in public criticism, multiple lawsuits and a broader call for the Oklahoma Legislature to find a way to repeal the board’s restrictions in a special session.

“I think we should do a special session, for a number of reasons, but mainly because the public needs to feel like someone is listening to them,” Virgin says in the podcast.

Catch episode 10 of How We Got Here by listening to the embedded audio file below or subscribing on Apple PodcastsPodbeanGoogle Play and Pocket Casts.

As always, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing to How We Got Here for future podcasts. If you have any suggestions for topics you’d like to hear discussed, contact NonDoc here.

Additionally, remember that NonDoc routinely publishes responses to the content we put out. If you would like to publish a Letter to the Editors or commentary, just email us.

Catch past episodes of How We Got Here

Episode 9: Primary colors — Green lit, red runoffs, blue wave?
Episode 8: Bud on bud — Deep in the weeds on SQ 788
Episode 7: The history of how Oklahoma cares about kids
Episode 6: Wind, guns, budget and a 72-ounce steak
Episode 5: A teacher walkout podcast
Episode 4: Diving deep on Medicaid
Episode 3: Let’s get gubernatorial
Episode 2: Summing up Step Up
Episode 1: Down to brass tax

(Editor’s note: How We Got Here is produced in partnership between NonDoc and FKG Consulting, a lobbying and public policy firm based in Oklahoma City. In each episode, all participants speak freely on the topic at hand. To view a list of FKG’s clients — including New Health Solutions Oklahoma — go here.)