Here at Cannon & Associates, we have recently seen an uptick in the number of potential clients facing drug trafficking charges for marijuana in Oklahoma. Many of these marijuana drug trafficking charges are related to marijuana grows for the lawful sale of medical marijuana. However, the manner in which the marijuana is transported or possessed has led law enforcement to arresting individuals under suspicion of trafficking marijuana. 

This article is intended to provide information to keep in mind as it relates to avoiding criminal charges that are associated with medical marijuana operations in Oklahoma, especially transportation of marijuana. 

1. Marijuana is Illegal Under Federal Law

Oklahoma is far from the first state to legalize medical marijuana. In fact many states have even legalized recreational marijuana. However, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Despite the Department of Justice or U.S. Attorneys expressing much interest in prosecutions related to marijuana, it does not change the fact that it is still illegal under federal law. 

2. Marijuana is Illegal in the Military 

Oklahoma has a rich history of military service, including hundreds of thousands of residents in Oklahoma that currently serve in a branch of the U.S. Military or the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Service members may be able to avoid state drug possession charges for having a valid medical marijuana license; however, they cannot avoid military justice by simply possessing a medical marijuana card. Across all branches of the U.S. military and the National Guard, marijuana is illegal and can subject a person to military justice and/or separation from the military. Service members that wish to continue their service must avoid marijuana use in Oklahoma, even with a medical marijuana license as marijuana is prohibited by the U.S. military and the National Guard. 

Read this article for more information about possession of marijuana on a military base. 

3. You may be prohibited from Possess a Firearm or Ammunition under Federal Law, if you have an Oklahoma issued Medical Marijuana Card

It is illegal under Oklahoma and Federal law to possess a firearm, while under the influence of marijuana or alcohol for that matter. Additionally, it is against the law to purchase a firearm, if you are a marijuana user. There are many criteria that may exclude you from purchasing a firearm and possessing a medical marijuana card is one of those criteria. Those that violate Federal law related to possessing a firearm may be subjected to federal prosecution for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person. The Federal offense of being in possession of a firearm as a prohibited person carries a heavy potential penalty under 18 U.S.C. Section 922, including up to ten years in federal prison. 

See more information about Federal Prosecution of Prohibited Persons here

4. You can be prosecuted for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

Oklahoma has the most strict Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana laws in the country. You may be prosecuted for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUI-D) for simply having marijuana metabolites in your system, not active THC. Oklahoma law on DUI-D is written to hold anyone with metabolites in their system liable for being “presumptively” under the influence of marijuana. Oklahoma marijuana defense attorneys and DUI defense attorneys, such as our team at Cannon & Associates knows this is nonsense, as metabolites show prior marijuana use, not intoxication. However, under the current state of Oklahoma law, an officer need only allege an individual is under the influence of marijuana. At that point, so long as the blood test shows any sign of marijuana metabolites, the person can be convicted of DUI-Drugs in Oklahoma regardless of a complete lack of actual intoxication, as required under the Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol laws in Oklahoma. 

5. You May or May Not be subject to Arrest for Possession of Marijuana without a Valid Medical Marijuana Card

Oklahoma State Question 788, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, eventually made medical marijuana lawful. However, it also provides that if you can provide a medical condition justifying your need for marijuana, the punishment shall only be a fine of $400. This is in direct conflict with the Oklahoma statute, which holds Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, including Marijuana, shall be punishable as a misdemeanor, including up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. 

The Oklahoma Legislature has not clarified the conflict between these two points. Working with experienced medical marijuana defense attorneys is key to protect your rights given this conflict in Oklahoma law. Until the Oklahoma Legislature clarifies whether an officer or a judge makes the decision about whether an individual’s justification for a medical need for marijuana is valid, this point of confusion and whether or not marijuana possession is an arrestable offense will remain. 

6. Consequences of Being Convicted of Possession of Marijuana. 

You should not simply enter a guilty plea, if you are facing a criminal charge for Possession of Marijuana. You may receive a conviction, which would result in losing your driver’s license due an automatic suspension, if you were in a vehicle when you received the citation or were arrested. Additionally, multiple federal benefits may be impacted from receiving a conviction for Possession of Marijuana, not the least of which security clearance, student aid, and military service may be impacted. 

7. Transporting +25 Pounds of Medical Marijuana may result in Drug Trafficking Charges in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) governs medical marijuana in Oklahoma, including growing, processing, dispensing, and most importantly for this question transportation of medical marijuana in Oklahoma. In order for an individual to transport medical marijuana in Oklahoma without being prosecuted for criminal Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana or Drug Trafficking Marijuana, an individual must have a valid “Transporter Agent License.” 

The OMMA Transporter Agent License allows a business holding the license to transport medical marijuana and medical marijuana products through licensed transportation agents. In order to be in compliance, Transportation Agents must  submit an employment verification form to prove their employment with a licensed transporter in order to apply for an Oklahoma Transporter Agent License.

Oklahoma Licensed Commercial Transporter Agents must comply with Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Laws, Oklahoma State Statutes Title 63, beginning at Sections 420 and the applicable Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 442:10  in order to transport marijuana in Oklahoma without being prosecuted for Drug Trafficking or Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana. 

What is Required for a Transport Agent Application?

The OMMA requires the following supporting documentation for each Transporter Agent Application:

  1. A color copy of the applicant’s valid, unexpired Oklahoma driver license;
  2. Documents establishing the applicant is an Oklahoma resident as established in OAC 442:10-1-6 (relating to proof of residency);
  3. A digital photograph as established in OAC 442:10-1-8 (relating to applicant photograph).
  4. An employment verification form prescribed by OMMA verifying the applicant’s employment with a commercial transporter, grower, processor, dispensary, laboratory, research facility, or education facility;
  5. A new attestation form along with the state background check will temporarily meet the national background check requirement included in HB 2095 (2023). All Transporter Agents must upload:
    1. A completed state background check from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), AND
    2. A completed Attestation Regarding National Background Check from OMMA. 
  6. An affidavit of lawful presence signed by the transporter agent applicant.

You are not alone if you feel this laundry list of required documentation is intimidating. However, in order to be in compliance with OMMA and avoid the risk of being arrested or charged with Drug Trafficking Marijuana in Oklahoma, it is necessary to be in strict compliance with these requirements. 

What constitutes Drug Trafficking Marijuana in Oklahoma?

As stated above, confusion still exists for medical marijuana companies and transporters or medical marijuana. In Oklahoma since 2018, strict and ever changing guidelines regulating the State’s cannabis industry have been implemented. Noncompliance with these guidelines provides quasi-criminal issues and serious risk of being prosecuted for criminal drug charges, including Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana or Drug Trafficking Marijuana.  

The distribution of marijuana, without the proper licensing, crossing interstate lines in possession marijuana, and possession of a particular quantity of marijuana can lead to criminal liability. Oklahoma statutes provide that, under the Illegal Drugs Act, the amount of marijuana needed to establish Drug Trafficking Marijuana is 25 pounds to 999 pounds. The punishment for being convicted of Trafficking Marijuana in Oklahoma is four years to life in prison and a fine between $25,000.00 – $100,000.00. 

Marijuana transporters, without the proper Transport Agent License, discussed above, may face ever harsher penalties, if arrested with more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana. Under Oklahoma Law, Possession of 1,000 pounds or more of marijuana constitutes Aggravated Drug Trafficking of marijuana. The punishment for Aggravated Drug Trafficking Marijuana in Oklahoma is a mandatory 15 years in prison and up to life, plus a fine between $100,000.00 – $500,000.00. 

Doesn’t Oklahoma Drug Trafficking Law Require an Intent?

No, under Oklahoma Drug Trafficking does not require an intent element. 

Therefore, you can be:

  1. Transporting medical marijuana…
  2. For the purpose of medical marijuana sales… and 
  3. Still be charged with Trafficking Drugs in Oklahoma, IF
  4. You do not have a valid, unexpired, Oklahoma Transport Agent License from OMMA

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals determines the jury instructions or elements for crimes in Oklahoma, including Trafficking Marijuana. The following is the Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instruction (OUJI) for Trafficking in Illegal Drugs, which applies to the transportation of medical marijuana, if no valid Oklahoma Transport Agent License is held by the person in possession of the marijuana:

OUJI-CR 6-13


These elements are:

First, knowingly;

Second, Brought into Oklahoma / Possessed;

Third, [Specify Amount of Controlled Dangerous Substance from 63 O.S. Supp. 2000, § 2-415(C), which is 25 pounds for Marijuana. 

That’s all that is required to be prosecuted for Drug Trafficking in Oklahoma. It is clear that operating a medical marijuana business in Oklahoma is a risk, especially the transportation of marijuana and marijuana products on public roads. In order to avoid prosecution for Drug Trafficking Marijuana, Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, or other serious drug related felony offenses in Oklahoma it is vital to follow strict compliance with the OMMA rules and regulations. However, if you or a loved one are facing prosecution for Drug Trafficking Marijuana or other medical marijuana related offenses in Oklahoma, you need an experienced criminal defense team on your side. 


At Cannon & Associates, our track record for dismissal and/or plea agreements to lesser included offenses is a point of pride and we will seek the best outcome possible for your or your loved one, if facing prosecution for medical marijuana related offenses in Oklahoma. 

If you’ve experienced administrative admonishment and fear criminal liability stemming from the cannabis industry, don’t wait until criminal charges are filed. Call us at (405) 657-2323 to set up a free consultation and get ahead of it.