Two state boards embroiled in controversy surrounding Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana law have announced meetings to address legal situations. The Legislature is getting in on the action, too.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced this morning that its governing body — the Oklahoma Board of Health — will meet at 3 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 1, to consider changes to the medical marijuana rules it originally passed July 10. The board amended the agency’s proposed rules to ban the sale of smokable forms of marijuana and to require a pharmacist be present at all dispensaries. An agenda for that meeting has not yet been posted.
The pharmacist rule has become particularly controversial since text messages surfaced that appear to show Chelsea Church, executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy, offering to hire OSDH general counsel Julie Ezell if she included the provision in her final draft of rules.
While Ezell did not include the provision, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation into whether Church’s text messages — first reported on NonDoc — constitute the offer of a bribe.
Board of Pharmacy to consider Church employment
In the wake of the Church investigation, the Board of Pharmacy has announced a meeting for 2 p.m. this Wednesday. Its agenda features only one primary objective: to discuss in executive session the future of Church’s employment by the agency.
The agenda notes that any employment action discussed in executive session would need to be voted on after the board returns to its open session.
At the same time on the same day, the Oklahoma Legislature’s new joint medical marijuana working group is set to hold its first meeting in room 535 of the State Capitol.
The bipartisan and bicameral working group’s agenda and membership can be seen in the photo below:
One of the groups scheduled to speak, New Health Solutions Oklahoma, released a 275-page proposed bill on its website over the weekend. The proposal is embedded below: