The Morning Brew: Oklahoma Board of Health votes on medical marijuana guidelines
Welcome to Wednesday. Here are a few headlines to start the day:
board votes to ban sales of smokable marijuana
The state Board of Health voted Tuesday on 75 pages of rules that will create a rough framework for patients, physicians, caretakers and business owners interested in medical marijuana.
The board also added two new rules, a ban on sales of smokable forms of medical marijuana and a requirement that dispensaries hire a pharmacist, which a coalition of health groups had pushed.
The Oklahoman's Meg Wingerter reported:
Julie Ezell, the Health Department’s general counsel, cautioned board members that the two new rules they added to the proposed rules might not be allowed under State Question 788, which legalized medical marijuana. That could invite a court challenge, she said.
Tom Bates, interim commissioner of the Health Department, said the department had expected some court challenges, regardless of whether the board added the dispensary restrictions. The board will continue to revisit the rules over the next months, while Health Department staff continue working out the logistics surrounding legalization, he said.
rescue mission of Thai soccer team ends
A perilous rescue operation to free 12 boys and their soccer coach from inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand that has captivated people across the world came to an end Tuesday when rescuers successfully extricated the last four boys and their coach.
The boys and their coach went exploring in the cave on June 23 and were trapped when a rainstorm flooded the tunnels. Volunteers from as far away as Australia and the United States helped with the rescue effort, Reuters reported.
Weather Decision Technologies, a Norman-based weather risk mitigation company, helped with the rescue efforts by running high-resolution forecast models and creating graphics, The Oklahoman's Hannah Pike reported.
Each of the boys, ages 11 to 16 and with no diving experience, was guided out by a pair of divers in the three-day intricate and high-stakes operation. The route, in some places just a crawl space, had oxygen canisters positioned at regular intervals to refresh each team’s air supply.
Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai Navy SEAL died Friday while replenishing the canisters.
Cave-diving experts had warned it was potentially too risky to dive the youngsters out.
But Thai officials, acutely aware that the boys could be trapped for months by monsoon rains that would swell waters in the cave system, seized a window of opportunity provided by relatively mild weather.