Newsletter | Feb. 22, 2021
Key lawmakers met in Oklahoma City Feb. 18 to vote on whether to pass several cannabis bills out of committee to a full vote by the state House of Representatives. This certainly doesn’t mean they’ll pass. But it signals what influential members of the legislature are making a priority about cannabis regulation in Oklahoma and what could become law.
It’s hard to believe the residents of Choctaw County, Oklahoma, in just a few short years have innumerable options within a reasonable distance for purchasing perfectly legal medical cannabis. At one time three decades ago now, Hugo, Oklahoma, the county seat of Choctaw, was a major target in the state’s strident war on weed.
Oklahoma reached about $127 million in tax revenues during 2020. At the current pace from January tax numbers, the state could hit $144 million during 2021.
It was a simple broken taillight that transformed a touring Christian rock band into accused narcotics traffickers five years ago in Muskogee County.
Sheriff’s deputies there pulled over the Klo & Kweh Music Team after the group had driven 12 hours straight. The band had played shows already in 19 cities and were raising money for schools and orphanages in their home country of Burma, also known as Myanmar.
Their home country has two names because it’s experienced strife in recent decades. This is so much the case that the United States welcomes persecuted Burmese refugees to its shores, particularly the Christian ones.
The Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office was hearing none of this.
The United States government is so big and so sprawling, it’s sometimes unable to avoid becoming a contradiction of itself. Federal health authorities still consider marijuana to be a Schedule 1 drug having “no currently accepted use and a high potential for abuse.”
Yet few Americans know that the United States government and its Department of Health and Human Services also have held a cannabis patent since 2003. In fact, the patent excitedly describes the health benefits of cannabinoids.
If there’s any doubt in your mind about the rapidly growing influence of Florida-based Metrc within the cannabis industry, consider the words of Karan Wadhera. He’s a manager for Casa Verde Ventures, the cannabis-forward venture firm co-founded by Snoop Dogg that poured $50 million into Metrc two years ago.
“Compliance is the backbone of the cannabis industry,” Wadhera told TechCrunch in 2018. “If a license holder isn’t compliant, their business will cease to exist.”
The state of Oklahoma hired Metrc in September to digitally track every cannabis plant and product reaching retailers and consumers. With a six-month timeline for rollout, Metrc commands the fate of 10,000 Oklahoma cannabis business license holders in 2021.
GCM Roundup | Oklahoma and Beyond
Here’s another analysis that goes deep into the details of the proposed cannabis bills in Oklahoma’s ongoing legislative session.
The century-old industrial giant 3M wants to explore using hemp to create alternatives for packaging and adhesives. The company says its customers are “clamoring for environmentally friendly offerings.”
Cannabis Business Times describes how Sheets Medical Marijuana in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, persevered over mildew and pests and doubled its yields.
Three-dozen members of Congress penned a letter to the Biden Administration asking for marijuana pardons now before Washington eventually gets around to a vote on decriminalization or legalization.
A rabbi in Texas is writing kosher certificates for cannabis edibles.
Cannabis businesses in Oakland and Los Angeles illustrate how social equity programs can either produce major successes or leave entrepreneurs worse off.
NPR reports that despite promises made by the state of Illinois, too few cannabis dispensaries there are owned by people of color.
High Times describes the difficulties of being a woman and a mom while also a cannabis enthusiast working in a male-dominated industry.
Oklahoma City’s Stability Cannabis tells Cannabis Business Times in a profile that prohibiting its employees from being jerks is a top priority for the business.
Cultivating indoors requires far more water usage than growing in greenhouses or outdoors, according to New Frontier Data.
Marijuana Business Daily says retail prices for recreational flower have boomed while prices have dropped in other categories like tinctures and edibles.
The heir to the Wrigley’s chewing gum empire has a net worth of $3.2 billion and is betting big on cannabis. He tells Fortune: “At Wrigley, we brought joy to people’s lives. This is much bigger than that.”
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