A roomful of Oklahoma cannabis entrepreneurs joined FlowerCraft co-founder, Shawn Jenkins, on Thursday, March 21 for an informative discussion on the impact of HB2612 on Oklahoma’s newest industry. The new law, dubbed the “Unity Bill,” adds regulations to many facets of Oklahoma’s medical cannabis program and will become effective at the end of August, 90 days after the state legislature adjourns for the session.
Jenkins highlighted several aspects of the new legislation that business owners need to be especially aware of such as: The requirement for the Health Department to develop testing standards; the requirement of seed-to-sale inventory tracking software; labeling, packaging, and advertising requirements; the mandate to comply with Universal Building Codes; and more.
He encouraged the assembly of growers, processors, and dispensary owners to not solely look to membership-based trade unions and business associations to monitor legislation and regulations, but to track legislation and Department of Health regulations themselves and advocate for their own interests, forming coalitions within the industry when appropriate.
Jenkins noted how the state of Oklahoma is collecting money hand over fist from the medical cannabis industry. Yet when it came to important financial matters there was silence on the part of the authors of the bill. For example, the 7% tax that the Oklahoma Tax Commission interprets as an excise tax was not addressed, nor was the banking issue which is one of the greatest problems for cannabis-related businesses. Jenkins quipped, “The people who told you it was illegal a year ago are the very people with their hands in your pockets today.”
This event was not only informative, but it also provided an excellent networking opportunity for those in the industry. FlowerCraft expects to host more events of this nature in the future in their multi-purpose event center located at 2606 S. Sheridan in Tulsa.
A similar meeting is planned for Wednesday, April 3rd with the focus being on patients and how this legislation will affect their ability to safely access medical cannabis in Oklahoma.