Help wanted: Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority

They would also work with the business community as producers and retailers prepare for a surge in activity. Aside from working with business owners and investors in the medical marijuana industry, the director would also hear from other business groups who employ patients.

The Oklahoma State Chamber and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber came out strongly against State Question 788, saying that it would infringe on their rights to operate a drug-free workplace.

Health Department spokeswoman Jamie Dukes said the challenges of the position are much like the challenges of creating any new program.

“We know this program has a great deal of political and media interests, and the candidate for this position will be challenged to develop a program which will meet regulatory requirements as well as the needs of the public,” Dukes said. “While we know there will be challenges, we are confident in our ability to make this happen.”

According to the job posting, the ideal candidate would have a background in public administration, with a master’s degree or at least five years of experience. The director would be responsible for developing policies, preparing a budget, managing contracts and other tasks common to a state bureaucracy.

It also hints that there will be advisory groups organized within the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, which could include the business, law enforcement and medical communities.

Ray McNair, executive director of the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association, which opposed State Question 788, said he hopes the administrator would be someone knowledgeable in law enforcement and medical issues.

“Whoever the director is, he’s going to have to have experience in at least two areas, and he’s going to have to understand state government as well,” said McNair.

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