Medical marijuana, new governor highlight 2018 Oklahoma headlines

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Big changes are on the way for Oklahoma in 2018 that includes a complete overhaul of how beer is sold, a new governor and maybe even the start of legalized medical marijuana.

Oklahomans voted to modernize alcohol laws with State Question 792 in October of 2016 and on October 1st of 2018, those changes will take effect. Some local liquor store owners say those changes will be drastic.

"A large walk-in cooler will be in the middle of the store and it will have 25 or 30 doors and the public will be able to walk through there, it will be all glass," said JP Richard, owner of Cache Road Liquor.

"When they look in that beer cooler they're going to see the same beers they can get in a grocery store or a convenience store like Bud Light or Coors Light," said Lynn Mason, Owner of Fluffy's Discount Liquor.

Both Cache Road Liquor and Fluffy's Discount Liquor will also offer wine and specific types of liquor cold, but that's not all that will change. Soon those stores will be able to sell pop, mixers, corkscrews, tobacco and even food. Anything you would expect to find at a convenience store could soon be found at a liquor store.

Another change will come this November. For the first time since 2010 Oklahoma will have a new governor. Mary Fallin has reached her maximum number of terms and right now, there are 11 candidates looking to replace her.

Headlining the Democrats are former Attorney General Drew Edmondson and former State Senator Connie Johnson.

On the Republican side, you'll be able to vote for Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, Former State Representative Dan Fisher, State Auditor Gary Jones, who is from Cache, current Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, Gary Richardson and Kevin Stitt.

They'll be joined by Libertarians Rex Lawhorn, Joe Maldonado and Chris Powell.

Oklahomans will also be faced with another major decision this year, State Question 788 which would legalize medical marijuana.

"It would take a doctor's recommendation for a person to get a medical card to buy medical marijuana. It would put in a system so that it could be regulated by the health department," said Isaac Caviness, President of Green the Vote.

If SQ 788 passes, medical marijuana would be taxed at seven percent. That tax would be used to finance a department to regulate the sale of medical marijuana. If there is any money left over after that regulatory office is funded, 75-percent of it will be used to fund Oklahoma education.

October will also bring new liquor store hours, with stores being able to stay open until midnight, though both Richard and Mason say it'd be unlikely they would stay open that late.

As for medical marijuana, it's still not been decided if the vote will be on the November or June ballot. The election to decide our next governor will be on November 6.

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