A group of Pontotoc County-based cannabis business owners is offering free medical marijuana recommendations to veterans and cancer patients this weekend.

The event will run from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Quality Inn, 400 NE JA Richardson Loop in Ada. Appointments are suggested but not required, and walk-ins are welcome.

Participating veterans and cancer patients must bring a valid ID and email address to the event, said Dean Taylor, owner of the local medical marijuana growing operation Laughing Gas Farms.

After participants report for their appointment, they will receive assistance in filing out an application for a state-issued medical marijuana license,Taylor said. Dr. Randy Whitekiller will address the patients as a group, then meet with each person individually to discuss their medical condition.

“The doctor assesses from their story whether or not they will be a candidate for a medical marijuana license,” Taylor said. “Upon receiving the recommendation that they are suggested to be a patient for this license, they come out and we as volunteers help them get their paperwork uploaded to the state system, which is often troubling. And a lot of people quit because it’s hard to deal with.”

Taylor said organizers will make sure that patients’ paperwork is complete and accurate and will assist them in submitting their application fee to the state. The goal, he said, is to ensure that patients who apply for a medical marijuana license aren’t rejected.

“A lot of times, the rejections are for simple paperwork errors,” he said. “And we, the volunteer group, we even help people fix those errors to get their cards.”

Medical marijuana licenses

Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788, which legalized medical marijuana, in the summer of 2018.

Patients who are seeking a medical marijuana license must obtain a doctor’s recommendation and register with the state-run Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, which regulates the industry.

The agency’s website says the standard application fee is $100, but people who provide acceptable proof of Medicaid (SoonerCare) or Medicare enrollment will pay only $20. Veterans who are 100% disabled will also pay a reduced fee of $20.

People whose applications have been approved may legally purchase, consume or grow medical marijuana and medical marijuana products, according to the agency’s website. The license is valid for two years from the date it is issued, or 60 days for short-term licenses.

Taylor said patients who qualify for a free doctor’s recommendation at this weekend’s event will still have to pay the state-required fee for a medical marijuana license.

To make an appointment for the event, call Rene Taylor — Dean Taylor’s wife and co-owner of Laughing Gas Farms — at 580-320-4014.

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.

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