Oklahoma to Hold ‘Cannabis Election’ in March 2023
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Oklahomans will have the chance to legalize recreational, adult-use cannabis on March 7 next year.
The announcement came from state governor Kevin Stitt on Tuesday, October 18.
If voters approve the measure, cannabis will become legal for any adult in Oklahoma aged 21 and over. According to the Associated Press, cannabis sales would be subjected to a 15% excise tax on top of the standard sales tax. Revenue from these taxes would go on to fund local schools, courts, and substance abuse treatment efforts.
The proposal also outlines a process for people with cannabis-related criminal convictions to seek expungement.
The ‘cannabis election’ was first proposed by state advocates who gathered enough signatures to get the proposal on a state ballot. The Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws group submitted more than 164,000 signatures (more than the 95,000 or so required to qualify for a ballot) to the Oklahoma Office of the Secretary of State back in July.
Advocates had hoped the legalization question would be posed during the US November mid-term elections, but the ballot was delayed to next March, reportedly to allow time for state courts to consider legal challenges.
Oklahoma has had a legal medical cannabis market since 2018.