A new policy from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will allow some flexibility for those who have expiring patient licenses and who have already been approved for renewal.
Effective immediately, those who have expiring patient licenses and have been approved for renewal will be able to use their old identification cards to purchase marijuana at dispensaries for up to 30 days while waiting to receive their new cards.
OMMA communications director Terri Watkins said the decision was made to allow the grace period because, under the OMMA’s old system, as soon as a patient’s renewal was approved their old card was automatically deactivated, even if they had not yet received their new card in the mail.
That scenario left people without access to medical marijuana until their new card arrived, which can take up to 14 days, Watkins said. She noted that postal service delays were another factor in the decision to allow for the grace period.
The OMMA is currently receiving a high number of renewal requests for patient licenses, but Watkins said the agency is hitting its targets in processing patient renewal requests.
“We are seeing large numbers of renewals, there is no question. But we’re still processing those well within the 14-day statutory period,” Watkins said. “But given the issues that we’ve seen with postal service delays and winter weather, we wanted to make sure those people who are approved for renewal can still purchase medical marijuana while they’re waiting on their new license to arrive in the mail.”
Patients began receiving email notices from the OMMA this month. The email reads:
A new OMMA policy will allow OMMA patient cardholders to purchase marijuana using their existing card for up to 30 days after their renewal has been approved. Patients will receive an email when their renewal is approved and the dispensary should be able to verify their active cardholder status at OMMAVerify.ok.gov, even if the card’s expiration date has passed. This helps to ensure that approved patients are not without access to their medication while they are waiting for their new card to arrive.
Remember you should begin your renewal process 30 days before the license expires – if your card expires before your renewal is approved the system will show that your patient license has expired. OMMA has instructions and a video to walk you through the renewal process available on our website.
When you are renewing, you will need:
1. New physician recommendation form
2. Proof of residency
3. Proof of identity
4. A photograph taken within the last six months that meets all OMMA photo criteria
Please use the same email address you used to create your original patient license application with OMMA to log into your account and submit your renewal. If you no longer have access to that email, call the OMMA call center at 405-522-OMMA.
Oklahoma patient licenses are issued for two years. In the spring of 2019, OMMA saw a massive influx of new applications. The volume of applications and phone calls at one point forced the OMMA to close its call center. Two years later, OMMA is now seeing a high volume of renewal applications.
As of last month, there are more than 380,000 active patient licenses, according to the OMMA.
Patient license renewal: What you need to know
Those who are looking to renew their OMMA patient license will need to schedule another consultation with a physician, just as they did when they got their license the first time. Those consultations can be done in person or via a video call. Consultation costs vary depending on the physician.
The OMMA also charges its $100 patient application fee on renewals. Those who have proof of Medicaid or Medicare enrollment or have status as a 100 percent disabled veteran are eligible for a reduced fee of $20.
Additionally, patients will be required to submit a new photo of themselves taken within the last six months. Those using the same photo as their initial license will have their renewal application rejected by the OMMA.
Patients can begin the renewal process up to 30 days before their license is set to expire, and the OMMA has 14 days to act on an application after it is received.
Seed to sale coming next month
The OMMA is set to see its seed-to-sale program fully operational by the end of April. Seed-to-sale monitoring allows for the tracking of a marijuana plant from its first steps as a small plant all the way until it is processed into flower or other products like edibles and vape cartridges that are sold at dispensaries. This article explains a little more about Oklahoma’s seed-to-sale program and what it means to consumers and businesses.
‘A lot to keep track of’: OMMA’s seed-to-sale program coming to fruition