Oklahoma’s Adult-Use Cannabis Ballot Initiatives: One Group Submits Signatures to Secretary of State While Another Ramps Up Petition Drive
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Oklahoma’s Adult-Use Cannabis Ballot Initiatives: One Group Submits Signatures to Secretary of State While Another Ramps Up Petition Drive

Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws turned in roughly 164,000 signatures this week to qualify its measure for the November ballot, while Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action continues signature-gathering efforts across the state.

July 6, 2022

Two groups are working to bring competing adult-use cannabis legalization measures to Oklahoma’s November ballot, and one, Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, submitted signatures to the Secretary of State this week.

The campaign, which was required to gather 94,910 signatures to get its initiative before voters this fall, submitted roughly 164,000 signatures July 5, according to The Oklahoman.

“We’re expecting Oklahomans to say yes to this,” Senior Campaign Adviser Ryan Kiesel told the news outlet.

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The statutory measure, State Question 820, would legalize adult-use cannabis for Oklahomans 21 and older. It would levy a 15% excise tax on adult-use sales, and the tax revenue generated would be split among Oklahoma’s General Revenue Fund, municipalities that host adult-use dispensaries, school districts, the court system and drug treatment programs, according to The Oklahoman.

SQ 820 also includes provisions to streamline the process for Oklahomans with past cannabis-related convictions to clear their records, the news outlet reported.

The measure would ultimately allow the state’s adult-use and medical cannabis programs to operate in tandem under the oversight of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), according to The Oklahoman.

Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws had 90 days, until Aug. 1, to collect signatures in support of SQ 820. The Secretary of State’s office must now count and verify the signatures the campaign submitted, which may take several weeks, The Oklahoman reported.

If SQ 820 lands on the ballot and is ultimately approved by voters in the November election, the law would take effect 90 days later, meaning that adult-use sales could launch in late spring or early summer 2023, according to the news outlet.

A second group, Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action, is also collecting signatures for two separate constitutional amendments, State Question 819 and State Question 818, which each require 177,957 signatures to qualify for the ballot, The Oklahoman reported.

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SQ 819 would legalize adult-use cannabis for Oklahomans 21 and older, while SQ 818 would codify Oklahoma’s medical cannabis program in the state’s constitution, according to the news outlet.

Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action has until Aug. 24 to collect the required number of signatures to get its measures before voters, and the campaign is currently seeking additional volunteers to assist with its petition drive, according to a Tulsa World report.

Jed Green, a spokesperson for the group, told the news outlet that Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action petitioners have been traveling across the Tulsa area to visit the medical cannabis dispensaries that are hosting the petitions.

“We wanted to take advantage of our retail locations across the state— ... nice, indoor areas where folks could go to sign because it’s hot out there,” Green told Tulsa World. “And then from there, we’ve got folks who are starting to come in, pick up packets and then actually work their way out into the field and doing events."