Oklahoma has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. Possession is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a year in jail, and second offenses are felonies — and will be until July 1, when a voter initiative that slightly relaxes the state’s punitive weed laws goes into effect. Even then, sales of any volume is still punishable by life in prison.
In the meantime, the state allows physicians to recommend CBD oil containing less than 0.03 percent THC to minors suffering from severe, intractable epilepsy. Where sick children and their parents are supposed to get that CBD oil is another question–and one not answered by the state, which maintains the right to punish someone bringing oil in from another state or ordering it through the mails.
At first blush, Fallin’s redefinition of CBD as “not marijuana” would seem to solve this conundrum.
Ryan Early of Oklahoma City-based Can-Tek Lab was one CBD-maker who celebrated the occasion by granting an interview to local TV station News-9. Can-Tek provides medicine to about 30 physicians in the state and to another 100 businesses across the country, he told a reporter.
Fallin, Early told the station, “has put Oklahoma on the map” as a producer of pharmaceutical-grade medical-cannabis products.
That may be what she wants Early, you and everyone else to think. But it’s not the case.
Fallin’s reclassification only applies to cannabidiol-based drugs or treatments that have federal Food and Drug Administration approval: to date, the FDA has yet to approve any CBD-based drugs, though some pharmaceuticals that include CBD are in the experimental phases.
To make things even less legal, in December, the Drug Enforcement Administration updated its own definition of “marihuana” to include any extracts from any plant in the genus cannabis. That would include hemp, which is merely Cannabis sativa with low.
Thus, any product that contains CBD–a cannabinoid, which is scheduled in the Controlled Substances Act–is technically illegal. And what Oklahoma did certainly doesn’t change that.
Oklahoma’s bill “makes it clear that if the FDA does approve a cannabidiol drug for use for medical treatment, that it would be legal,” said state Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, according to NewsOK.com.
Under President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, there has yet to be any massive DEA crackdown on legalized recreational marijuana — and there definitely hasn’t been any crackdown, big or small, on makers of hemp-derived CBD oil.
At the same time, CBD manufacturers, in Oklahoma or anywhere else, shouldn’t allow themselves to be lulled into a false sense of security. They certainly shouldn’t start behaving as if what they do is legal — because, until federal law changes, it’s not. Not in Oklahoma or anywhere else.
TELL US, do you live in a CBD-only state? Can you get the meds you need?