SQ788 Already Under Assault

Boy things are getting interesting with SQ788 aren’t they?  SQ788 has not even passed and we already have trade organizations and lawmakers talking about changing it.  Lets be real clear about a few things.  Should we pass SQ788, it has “principal tenets”.  Big items we put in the law that are key “features”.  In particular our regulation around a physician recommendation, protections so that Oklahomans could enter the marijuana business for a less than outrageous costs, and the rights of Oklahomans to grow their own medicine.

There is already a “trade organization” asking marijuana growers for large donations with the promise that they will be able to “change the law” in July.  Their proposed changes would be under the veil of “tightening up the law” but in reality they want to make it where YOU are not able to afford to get a grow license.  They want to advantage the big money growers who are set to come into Oklahoma.  They want to limit the amount of grows, and take away YOUR rights to home grow.  Regrettably they are also tied pretty tightly to a YES organization.  So watch where you spend your time and money.

Then we have the legislature.  Senator Yen’s attempt at a medical marijuana law looked like it came straight from the recommendations of the Pharmaceutical industry.  In order to grow or dispense medical cannabis you would have to be a registered pharmacy. Fits in nicely with a Walgreens business model…just sayin’.  And lets just say, by some miracle, Senator Yen’s S1120 did become law.  Were lawmakers really ready to put Oklahoma thru a Constitutional crisis by having 2 competing medical marijuana laws on the books should SQ788 pass?  Really?  Surely they are smarter than that!  And guess what?  SQ788, should it pass, would trump any legislative actions to over ride it.

We did actually have some lawmakers trying to be forward looking.  In particular Rep JP Jordan who penned “bridge” regulations that would have allowed SQ788 to be quickly implemented should it pass in June.  We circulated a loose law with SQ788 that we knew needed additional drill down.  HB3468 did exactly that.  Further, if it would have passed, it would have saved the state millions of dollars in additional work.  While it passed the House with no problems.  HB3468 died in Senator Yen’s committee in the Senate.  HE NEVER ALLOWED IT TO BE HEARD.  Oh, well, another Oklahoma legislative boondoggle, but this one we lay right at the feet of a Senator who also had a competing law.  Nothing to see here folks..move along…

Should SQ788 pass, we have a quick ticker for implementation.  Lets be real clear about our expectations…

-we expect SQ788 to be implemented along the timelines we lay out in the proposed law
-we expect the principal tenets of SQ788 to be respected as the “Will of the People” particular our regulation around a physician recommendation, allowing Oklahomans to enter the marijuana business at a reasonable cost, and allowing Oklahomans to grow their own medicine

We have to pass it first, but make no mistake, we will defend SQ788.

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