The passage of a liberal medical marijuana law in Oklahoma was a surprise to many across the nation, whether involved in the cannabis industry or not. It turns out, when it comes to pot, Oklahomans are full of surprises, most of which revolve around wanting to get into the cannabis industry at the ground level.
State Question 788 passed during the primaries, thus legalizing medical marijuana on June 26, 2018. The following day, the first medical marijuana dispensary opened, waiting for regulations to hit so they could begin business in their Tulsa location. Since then, it’s been a landslide of applications to grow, manufacture and sell medical marijuana.
So far 1,100 commercial applications have been received by the State Department of Health. Compared to the 2,200 patients and caregivers who have thus far signed up for medical cannabis, a glut is on the horizon.
There were not many emergency rules written into the law in order to regulate businesses, creating a free marketplace, but also creating somewhat of a jumble. “We’re on pace right now to out-license Colorado [commercially],” stated Bud Scott, executive director of the medical cannabis trade group, New Health Solutions Oklahoma.
At the pace that Oklahomans are joining the commercial side of the marijuana movement, it seems like legalization could either be on the horizon or is even being teased at right now. “It’s a really interesting scenario that we’re opening up like a recreational market,” added Scott.
Interesting is definitely the word for what’s unfolding in this corner of the Bible Belt. Oklahoma has been a red state, with a majority of its residents voting for Republican presidential candidates, since 1968. It goes to show that cannabis is truly a non-partisan issue and that conservatives feel the need for weed as strongly as those on the left.
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With the sheer number of ganjapreneurs already applying to open up shop in the cannabis field, the impending overgrowth it could create would likely drive prices of medical cannabis down heftily. One prediction put future wholesale marijuana at $800 per pound. Which is great for patients, especially low income adults, seniors and veterans, but perhaps not so hot for those who were looking to cash in on the green rush.
It’s still nothing to complain about as of yet. Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, an Oklahoma City attorney and Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association member, optimistically chimed in to Muskogee Phoenix, “I think it will all shake out. Right now, I think it’s an unknown adventure.”