Saturday’s rollout of Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program started with the launch of an online portal for patients and businesses to register for a state MMJ license.
Despite the rush of submissions, things went smoothly for the most part. This was great relief to participants who watched as the state Pharmacy Board and Health Department mined the field with a series of obstacles ever since MMJ was approved by voters in June, 2018.
“I started sobbing uncontrollably. That’s how excited I was,” said Aron Pasley, one of the first 10 Oklahomans to submit paperwork for what he assumed would take at least two weeks to be reviewed. But, less than five minutes later, he received an email a saying his application was approved.
“I’ve been in pain management for years. I need shoulder replacement surgery right now. I have a bad hip,” Pasley told Tulsa World.
Other residents also noted they had been approved for their licenses earlier than expected.
Nearly 1,370 accounts were registered and 366 patient applications were received by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority in the first hour after the portal went live on Saturday August 26, and that includes 205 commercial applications.
Tony Sellars, spokesman for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said that prior to the launch they didn't have a real idea of the number of people who might use the online system, which they had been testing for several weeks. But, he added, they were confident the site wouldn't go down under high volume traffic.
One of the few reported hiccups, according to NewsOK.com, stemmed from applicants using AOL and Yahoo email addresses who said they didn’t receive confirmation of their applications.
Between patient application fees, business applications, fees from dispensary, growers and processors, the state took in more than $2 million in fees on this first weekend, according to a breakdown by the Medical Marijuana Authority of the 2,074 applications submitted as of 5 p.m. Sunday.
According to the language of State Question 788, patients are supposed to be able to legally possess seedlings as of Sept. 3 and can have mature plants beginning Oct. 26, 2018. Products could be available for sale by December or January.