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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

2,600 dispensaries and now adding recreational cannabis, what could go wrong in Oklahoma?

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In 2018, Oklahoma State Question 788 made it illegal to use cannabis for recreational purposes, But it was allowed for medical use with an appropriate license. However, the citizens of Oklahoma will vote on March 7 to decide whether or not to legalize cannabis for recreational use at the state level.

This decision is seen as an opportunity to boost local businesses and promote social reform, but some critics worry that it could lead to an increase in addiction and drug use. If the measure passes, Oklahoma will become the 22nd state to legalize recreational cannabis use, giving citizens 21 and older the ability to purchase marijuana products from licensed distributors and sellers.

Presently, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is responsible for overseeing Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program. As a division of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, its primary mission is to regulate and license medical marijuana. They work hard to ensure that health practices related to medical marijuana are safe and reliable

Marijuana business in Oklahoma

After the legalization of cannabis for medical use in 2018, Oklahoma has seen an increase in the number of marijuana growers. The availability of legal licenses, affordable land, and minimal regulatory oversight has led to an increase in commercial marijuana cultivation primarily for medicinal purposes.

Remarkably, there are no restrictions on the size of marijuana growers’ operations. This has resulted in a significant increase in the rate of sales beyond the offering to medical marijuana patients. Currently, the State of Oklahoma has issued operating licenses to approximately 2,600 dispensaries and 7,000 farms. However, there are also some individuals who operate in the industry without proper licensing.

Switching from medical to recreational

Cannabis legalization activists are actively working toward national legalization. Their goal is to gather enough signatures to put the issue of legalizing cannabis on state midterm ballots. This movement gained great momentum, as residents in various states showed their approval of the initiative by adding their signatures.

The proposed marijuana program would allow individuals 21 and older to legally purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis. In addition, adults will be allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use. The Oklahoma Department of Health will be responsible for regulating and licensing the cannabis business.

State question 820

State Question 820 is the latest initiative citizens will vote on, which aims to Introducing licenses to use cannabis for recreational purposes. The proposed legislation would allow farmers, transport workers and large-scale processing enterprises to operate legally. In addition, the state will establish regulations for detailed production and labeling practices.

A 15 percent tax will be charged on each recreational sale, which is double the amount medical users pay in taxes. Surplus revenue generated from drug addiction treatment programs, student aid, the state’s General Revenue Fund, and local governments will be used. While individual businesses and property owners will have the authority to regulate the use of marijuana on their property and during employment, SQ 820 will not affect existing medical cannabis laws and regulations.

Potential effects if recreational weed is legalized

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A recent report commissioned by advocacy groups lobbying for the legalization of recreational weed in Oklahoma suggests that, if passed, the state can expect to generate significant revenue from marijuana taxes. According to the report, tax revenues from recreational sales are expected to peak in 2027, generating more than $97 million, while the medical market is expected to generate $69 million. As the market adjusts to a larger customer base and lower prices, these earnings are expected to remain stable beyond 2027.

In addition, the law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP conducted an economic and tax impact analysis, which showed that Oklahoma will generate $821 million in tax revenue over the next four years from the recreational and medical cannabis markets.


If marijuana is legalized, it will create dispensaries and nurseries, create new jobs and boost the pot industry economy across the country. The industry requires workers to grow, distribute, process, and market marijuana products.

Additionally, legalization would allow people to choose to purchase marijuana from vendors with medical cards or from the black market, since it would be legal wherever it is sold.

Currently, more than 360,000 people, which is about 9% of the state’s population, are authorized to purchase and possess marijuana for medical use. If it was legalized, those who used it for recreational purposes would not be caught. Terry White, former commissioner of mental health and substance abuse services for Oklahoma, supports the move, stating that people who use marijuana should not be considered criminals. However, she strongly disapproves of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Cons about legalizing marijuana in Oklahoma

The legalization of marijuana has drawn criticism from various quarters across the country. Opponents argue that it will create confusion among law enforcement agencies as they try to keep up with changing regulations. In addition, detractors claim that drug use by young people would reduce the value of property. Governor Kevin State shares these concerns and believes that taking the ballot initiative is unwise. He points out that marijuana already provides medical relief to Oklahomans who need it, making it unnecessary to further legalize it. Moreover, he maintains that legalizing marijuana is harmful to young people.


After much debate and consideration, Governor Kevin State has scheduled a statewide election for March 7th, to determine whether or not individuals over the age of 21 can use marijuana recreationally.

The economic benefits of legalizing marijuana have been seen in other states, with direct tax revenues for the state, the creation of thousands of jobs, and proper regulation of the production, distribution, and consumption of the substance.

In addition, legalization can ease the burden on law enforcement by redefining what is considered illegal. The decision rests in the hands of the people, and only time will tell what the future holds for the legalization of marijuana in Oklahoma.

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