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We often talk about the pioneers of the cannabis industry.
The South and Midwest of the United States has always been the heart of conservative thinking both politically and financially.
You would think it would be the last region of North America to embrace the legalization of cannabis, and sure enough it was. During the midterm elections in 2018, Oklahoma voters made medical marijuana very legal. Oklahoma, a state that has always voted conservatively, is the first conservative Southern state to legalize medical marijuana.
Unlike other states that have legalized medical cannabis, Oklahoma does not mandate that only people with certain qualifying conditions can register for a card.
Instead, they allow the treating physician of a patient to decide whether medical cannabis is right for them. They also allow patients to legally possess up to 8 eight ounces of marijuana and grow 6 mature cannabis plants at home. Those rules represent some of the loosest in all of the U.S. Oklahoma now has nearly 200,000 registered patients according to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, roughly 5% of the state’s overall population.
However, medical cannabis in Oklahoma, along with the businesses that are trying to make it work, are not even a year into the enactment of the law. It is still new, and like anything that is new there are growing pains. CannaCon is on its way back to Oklahoma City on September 27th & 28th at the Cox Convention Center. The leading B2B cannabis convention is much needed in Oklahoma as new rules and regulations are being implemented regularly. Most recently, the state mandated that all dispensaries submit a Certificate of Compliance on an annual basis. It is a two-page form that many companies are still trying to find, determine where to submit it or have it signed.
As always, CannaCon is featuring many vendors to help cannabis companies learn and expand. The Oklahoma convention had over 8,000 attendees last year and they are expecting many more this year. Just like the Massachusetts show, celebrity chef Shaun O’Neale will be doing a cooking with cannabis demonstration, and seed vendors with strains that can only be found at CannaCon will be exhibiting as well. For Oklahoma though, one of the most important parts of the convention will be seminars and speakers. Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish will be talking about the evolving regulations in Oklahoma along with Logan Jones, an attorney at JonesBrown PLLC.
The cannabis industry as a whole is in a serious learning phase trying to determine the best rules and regulations for patients to get the best potential responsible access to medical cannabis. It is also trying to determine rules for responsible adult-use. Each of the 33 U.S. states that have legalized medical cannabis, and each of the Canadian provinces are going about implementing rules a little differently. At the heart of fundamental politically conservative thinking is the idea of less government and therefore more freedom to the people. So, it is not surprising that Oklahoma has put in place some of the most relaxed rules of any state that has legalized cannabis.