• Shelby McDaniel

Oklahoma Governor's State of the State Misses the Mark


Image by 15299 from Pixabay
Image by 15299 from Pixabay

Governor Stitt’s State of the State address caught the attention of the national cannabis community with its misleading and inaccurate information. The Governor dug a verbal hole for himself by not only degrading a recession resilient industry but gas-lighted those who voted to legalize medical marijuana. The comments made by his speech show the lack of education Oklahoma’s government has when it comes to cannabis.

When Oklahomans voted for medical marijuana, they were sold a bill of goods. The state question was misleading, and it has tied our hands as we regulate the industry.”

While State Question 788 passed with 56.86% approval, it showed Oklahoma’s willingness to embrace cannabis. Governor Stitt’s commentary downplays the government’s mishandling of regulation and oversite, instead of passing the blame onto the voter. What Oklahoma needs is clear-cut reasonable regulation, not politicians who have no clue where to begin.

“Because of that state question, Oklahoma charges just $2,500 for a commercial license. Even California charges up to $181,000 — 72 times more.”

Comparing Oklahoma’s market to California’s shows how little Governor Stitt knows about the two markets. California’s market faces collapse due to high taxation causing the cost of production to skyrocket, not to mention sales tax paid by the customer. Anyone can look at the cost of living in California and Oklahoma and see the two are not comparable.

“Next door in Arkansas, they have 8 growers.”

Arkansas’ medical marijuana market is virtually nonexistent. Overly regulated and nearly impossible to get a medical card, consumers are more apt to turn the traditional market. First comparing Oklahoma to California then to Arkansas is a gross exaggeration in the extreme.

“You know as well as I do that not all of that product is being sold legally. This is a perfect example why we need to make sure initiative petitions represent Oklahomans, not out-of-state special interest groups.”

Once again, the Governor fails to acknowledge the fact the real problem. Oklahoma's medical marijuana program is overseen by politicians and not experienced cannabis professionals, leaving the industry to adhere to executive orders and regulation changes that make no sense for the program.

It's easy to shift the blame, and clearly, Oklahoma's governor is experienced with this tactic. Oklahoma's cannabis industry needs to continue pushing forward and show that this state's medical marijuana program is a legitimate and strong industry.

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