Oklahoma businesses that sell food infused with CBD or marijuana must get a food license, says the State Department of Health. If businesses are not manufacturing or selling food products, a food license is not required, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
The State Department of Health oversees Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program. It issued a press release on February 19 urging marijuana businesses selling food to get the license by April 26.
“For a limited time, we will focus our efforts on helping businesses get licensed before any enforcement action is pursued. Completing the food licensing process as soon as possible will help business owners avoid a potential backlog of plan review and licensing applications as we get closer to the April 26 deadline,” said Interim Commissioner of Health Tom Bates.
Food License Application And Fees
The initial startup cost will include a $425 plan review application fee and a $425 initial food license fee, Cale said. Afterwards, food licenses are renewed annually at $335.
Marijuana businesses required to get the food license must send a retail plan review application to the county where the establishment is located. Once approved, the county will issue a license application, which must be submitted with the initial license fee ($425) to the State Department of Health for processing, Cale said.
State Health Department Position
After legal review and meetings with the Food Safety Standards Advisory Board for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the State Health Department determined early this year that any establishment selling or manufacturing edible marijuana products was subject to certain food laws and regulations, Cale said.
Current state statutes define many CBD and medical marijuana infused products as food. Some examples of products that the State Health Department considers as food under Oklahoma law include:
- Flavored tinctures or oils placed in the mouth or in other food.
- Assorted types of baked goods, candies or chewing gum.
- Infused honey
- Infused bottled water
- Other pre-packaged food products.
What is CBD and THC?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid constituent of cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.
When the Law on CBD Changed
State law changed on April 30, 2015, to exclude CBD from the definition of marijuana if the CBD contained less than 0.3% THC, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
The State Department of Health requires businesses extracting CBD or processing/warehousing food items containing CBD to comply with certain food laws and inspection regulations, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
How the Health Department Views Food and CBD
“When included in foodstuffs or ingested orally, the State Health Department recognizes CBD as a ‘processed edible substance . . . used or intended for use or for sale . . . for human consumption’,” Cale said, citing a food regulation.
Cale said that common food licenses for these establishments may include:
- Food – Retail License: specific to the sale of pre-packaged food products only
- Food – Combo License: where a licensed establishment may prepare and sell general food to the public for consumption, the medical marijuana food edibles must all be pre-packaged.
Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale is a Legal Committee member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
His law firm, the Cale Law Office, has a proprietary auditing program that helps Oklahoma’s medical marijuana businesses stay compliant with the state’s laws and regulations.
The content in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. For medical marijuana legal services, contact the Cale Law Office at 918-277-4800, or through the web.