The night was June 26th, 2018. I just finished casting my ballot in favor of SQ 788 and stood in my living room pacing. I watched the television as the votes came in for our beloved OK SQ 788, which would ultimately pave the way for medical marijuana throughout Oklahoma. Admittedly, that evening, I was nervous (and, honestly, not too hopeful) about how the state I was born in would respond to legalizing medical marijuana, even though I had advocated and desperately hoped for the passing of SQ 788.
As the evening went on and the final votes were tallied, the "Okie Tokies" prevailed with a resounding victory! After it was all said and done we had amassed 57% of the vote opening the doors to the fastest growing cannabis marketplace in the country.
Fast forward to 2020, we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, the likes of which none of us have seen in our lifetime. In eighteen months, cannabis in Oklahoma has gone from illegal to essential, the way it should be. Countless Oklahomans and global citizens alike depend on the natural healing properties found in cannabis. Academic studies and real patients report than marijuana alleviates many medical conditions such as, but not limited to seizures, PTSD/anxiety, and pain from cancer/disease treatment. It appears that cannabis may also help stem opioid and other pharmaceutical addictions that have plagued so many people worldwide.
Even before the pandemic, many Oklahomans who experience transportation issues due to a variety of factors were speaking out for medical cannabis delivery—the COVID 19 pandemic has exacerbated these requests from licensed patients throughout OK.
Oklahomans Push for Delivery
Just like other states that have legalized recreational marijuana and/or delivery, Oklahoma stands ready to get in the game. The Sooner State is fielding tens of thousands of requests from patients who would benefit from legal marijuana delivery. In an apparent response, The Oklahoma State House of Representatives passed House Bill 3227 in March 2020, which opens the door for contract delivery of medical marijuana serviced by licensed delivery operators in the state.
In most cases these delivery couriers would be operating their own distribution centers, bypassing local dispensaries, and delivering products to the end consumer. While it is important to bring marijuana delivery to the patients who need it most, it is arguably equally important to ensure that the foundation for delivery will automatically ensure that the Oklahoma retailers, who helped establish the market, are allowed to utilize their current licenses and network of customers to provide additional options for their consumers to receive legal cannabis.
OK State Question 813
Shortly after the OK House passing of HB 3227, a loyal group of Oklahoma Medical Marijuana advocates, led by Danna Malone of Ye Olde Apothecary in Tulsa, OK, (who also helped with the passing of OK SQ 788) have issued a challenging measure to the House's bill. They introduced OK SQ 813, which would responsibly address Oklahoma's drive to deliver but also establishes a legal recreational market with a marijuana tax revenue fund and oversight committee. This group would be responsible for facilitating up to 94% of all tax distributions received from recreational cannabis to social services such as education and treatment for drug addiction. It is important to note that if passed, the bill would ensure education-based revenue would be directed exclusively for budget shortfalls within education, and it specifically prohibits the money being distributed for things such as administrative salaries/bonuses.
Furthermore, if passed, OK SQ 813 would provide all licensed Oklahoma dispensaries their own unique delivery license allowing them to transport and deliver legally purchased items to their own consumers—helping to fuel increased engagement among locally established businesses and their current and future clientele. Under OK SQ 813 guidelines, there would be zero tax levied on licensed medical sales, bringing some equality to the medication side in OK, as all OK drugs sold on prescription are exempt from taxation in Oklahoma. On the contrary, and similar to other states with legal recreational markets, all recreational sales in the state of Oklahoma would be levied a 25% tax. As described earlier, the tax revenue would be appropriated significantly to helping our children & schools, curbing drug addiction, and providing assistance to individuals recently released from prison to help them reintegrate with their local communities.
When it comes to buying, selling, delivering, or doing any business with marijuana—patients, consumers, and organizations alike have all felt the restraints that current banking laws have on the industry as a whole. Pulling a page from the SAFE banking act, which passed the US House of Representatives in 2019 and is currently stalled in the US Senate, OK SQ 813 would protect banks from discrimination if they work with a cannabis-related business and would help establish a blueprint of what that could look like on a national level if enacted. This would have a resounding positive economic impact for the state of Oklahoma.
Let the GREEN Times Roll
Oklahomans are ready for delivery and an established recreational market that properly gives back to the community and does not overshadow the important needs of the medical patients throughout Oklahoma. The Sooner State has currently issued more dispensary, growing, and processing licenses than any other state and have more dispensaries than Colorado and California...combined!
It is safe to say that this Okie Tokie is in full support of OK SQ 813 and what it sets out to achieve. Allowing cannabis delivery in Oklahoma is paramount to the patients who need it the most, as accessibility to their medicine may be inhibited in some way or may even be impossible. OK SQ 813 would change this and allow for the legal delivery of cannabis to patients and consumers directly to their households. Leafbuyer is uniquely positioned to help facilitate the communication, ordering and delivery, between patient/consumer and licensed dispensaries in Oklahoma (and elsewhere). Combining the passage of SQ 813 with Leafbuyer's world-class online ordering and delivery app experience will enable the cannabis consumer and business community to fully interact and conduct commerce on every possible level—even from their own home.
Now is the time, Tokelahoma—click here to take action and email OK senators your support for OK SQ 813.