Growing Marijuana in Oklahoma – State Laws (2021)

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It is amazing to see how one of the Reddest states now has some of the most liberal medical marijuana laws in the land. Even though Oklahoma has taken its sweet time reforming its weed laws since banning it in 1933, moving forward ever so slightly only decades after when it allowed low-THC, high-CBD cannabis for medical purposes in 2015, it now enjoys record-breaking sales year after year.  Despite the coronavirus situation, Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry was able to hit $74 million last May 2020, a monthly figure much higher than that of recreational weed markets in Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Nevada.

Oklahoma’s medical cannabis laws are so permissive that some residents say there’s no longer a need to legalize adult use. In any case, the state now fully embraced cannabis that there is already a recreational cannabis bill filed for this year. Introduced by Republican Rep. Scott Fetgatter, HB 1961 or The Oklahoma Adult Access to Marijuana Act will give adults over 21 the right to buy and possess up to an ounce of weed. However, it is unlikely to include a provision for home cultivation since almost all states are legalizing recreational marijuana to replenish depleted funds.

Overview of Cannabis Growing Laws in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma’s marijuana laws, home growing of medical marijuana falls under possession and the law specifically says:

  • Patients and their designated caregivers may legally possess six mature marijuana plants and six seedlings.
  • Medical marijuana plants should be cultivated in a secured area not viewable by the public.

This was last updated in June 2020. We will be updating this guide with new developments that may come out.

Punishments for Violating Oklahoma’s Home Grow Laws

Oklahoma’s marijuana laws are not as clear as to what the penalties are for exceeding the cultivation limit. However, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug and possession rules apply to its cultivation. The penalty for violating possession laws are as follows:

  • Possession of any amount is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. However, it’s possible to get a conditional release for a first offense.
  • Growing without a medical marijuana license is a felony punishable 2 years to life imprisonment and a maximum fine of $50,000.00.

These are some of the heaviest penalties we’ve seen in states where cannabis is legal in some way. Given this, it’s safe to say that violating these rules just to grow two plants is totally not worth the risk. However, Oklahoma’s marijuana laws are also one of the least restrictive when it comes to issuing MMJ cards. In fact, it doesn’t even specify the conditions that a patient has to have to qualify and instead just leaves it to your physician’s discretion.  

History of marijuana in Oklahoma

Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s no surprise that growing recreational weed is still not legal in Oklahoma. After the state joined the nationwide prohibition wave in 1933, Oklahoma authorities actively prosecuted marijuana cases for almost a whole century. It wasn’t until 2016 that State Question 788, a petition to legalize medical marijuana, was filed. 

SQ796 and SQ797

Before the approval of SQ788 in June 2018, cannabis activist group Green the Vote had already filed State Question 796 and 797. SQ796 sought to amend the Oklahoma Constitution to categorize marijuana as an herbal drug to make it more accessible to those with medical needs and provide them more legal protections. SQ797 meanwhile was more ambitious since it sought for the legalization of adult-use marijuana. Unfortunately, both petitions failed to get the sufficient number of votes needed to get into the ballot and were closed down in September 2018.   

2018 was quite a tumultuous year for marijuana reform in Oklahoma and there was still a lot of confusion surrounding the new rules. Even though the first medical cannabis clinic in the state was opened right after the approval of SQ788, patients were still burdened with numerous restrictions. So much so that it led to lawsuits against the state, the governor, and the Oklahoma Department of Health.

In August 2018, Gov. Fallin finally signs revised regulations submitted by the State Health Board which relaxes the restrictions Oklahomans previously complained about. In particular, the revisions removed the requirement of a pharmacist to be present at dispensaries and the stipulation that required patients to take a pregnancy test before getting their medical marijuana license. It also removed the ban on smokable pot and lowered the minimum age of dispensary workers from 21 to 18.

Decriminalization of simple possession

In the same year, Oklahoma City took a major step towards the legalization of recreational marijuana and asked the state to follow suit. After October 2018, the city reduced the penalty for simple possession. From six months of jail time and a maximum fine of up to $1200, it is now only a maximum fine of only $400 and no jail time.

Growing medical marijuana in Oklahoma

Applying for a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma is a fairly straightforward process and can be done online. Those who want to apply to be able to cultivate must be a resident 18 and older. Minor patients may only use medical cannabis with the permission of their legal guardians and caregivers. 

As previously mentioned, your physician will be the one to determine if your condition qualifies for medical marijuana. Physicians can also issue recommendations valid only for 60 days. Here is a list of requirements that patients and caregivers must submit along with their application:

Fees and validity

100% disabled veterans may also submit a Proof of Medicaid/Medicare/Disabled Veteran Status so they can avail of reduced fees. In addition to copies of Proof of Identity and Residency and a clear photo, caregivers also need to submit a completed Adult Patient Caregiver Designation Form or Minor Patient Caregiver Designation Form. A caregiver in Oklahoma may have up to 5 patients.

A patient license is valid for 2 years and costs $100. For Medicaid/SoonerCare or Medicare enrollees, the fee is only $20. Meanwhile, minor patient licenses are also valid for up to two years, or until the minor turns 18. Caregiver licenses are valid only up to the expiration date of their patient’s license. 

Marijuana home cultivation laws outside of Oklahoma

How does Oklahoma’s marijuana laws compare with home growing laws in other US states? Check out our post on Marijuana Growing Laws in the United States.

FAQs about growing marijuana in Oklahoma

Is it legal to grow marijuana in Oklahoma for recreational purposes?

No, it is currently illegal to grow recreational cannabis at home in Oklahoma.

How much marijuana can I grow in Oklahoma for recreational purposes?

None. The law does not permit the home growing of cannabis for recreational purposes in Oklahoma.

Is it legal to grow marijuana in Oklahoma for medical purposes?

Yes, registered patients and their caregivers are allowed to grow medical cannabis at home in Oklahoma.

How much marijuana can I grow in Oklahoma for medical purposes?

Patients and their designated caregivers are allowed to grow up to six mature marijuana plants and six seedlings.

Where can I grow marijuana in Oklahoma?

On your property, in a locked space where the plants can be kept away from public view.

How old do I need to be to grow marijuana in Oklahoma?

Patients or caregivers need to be at least 18 years old to be able to legally cultivate medical marijuana at home in Oklahoma.

Conclusion

Oklahoma’s marijuana laws may not be so restrictive when it comes to home growing medical marijuana but it gives almost no leeway to those caught possessing weed without a license. However, marijuana reform seems to be on the horizon based on Oklahoma City’s recent decriminalization of small possession. In the meantime, patients and caregivers growing at home need to closely observe the following rules:

  • Never grow or carry marijuana in areas close to schools, daycares, and similar establishments.
  • Grow your marijuana plants away from public view.
  • If growing on someone else’s property, get the owner’s permission in writing.  
  • Never sell your excess marijuana.

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