Like so many cannabis battles, after a state's industry is up and running and wildly exceeds expectations, one wonders what all the fuss was about.
So it went in Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, and now so it goes in Oklahoma, which boasted $7Million in medicinal cannabis sales in the month of February, according to an article in High Times. That fine figure follows a $4.3Million month in January, which was four times the $1Million in sales from December.
If those Sooner stoners were in Silicon Valley, they'd call this "hockey stick".
Make no mistake, Oklahoma is a RED STATE. "The Republican candidate has carried Oklahoma in every presidential election since 1968, often by large margins" ... and "Today, most of Oklahoma's federal and all of its statewide offices are all held by the Republican Party, which also holds supermajorities in both chambers of the state Legislature."
But surprisingly, voters said "OK" to medicinal sales, and the industry has been off to the races ever since. By the close of December, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority had licensed more than 30,000 patients and almost 900 dispensaries. More recent figures show the state has 54,000 patients (almost 100% growth in 2 months - - hello California?)
That $7 Million, by the way, only represents dispensary sales. The industry also produces revenue in transactions between cultivators, processors, manufacturers and distributors.
AND THAT'S NOT ALL ... THE STATE HAS COLLECTED TENS OF MILLIONS IN CANNABIS TAXES AND LICENSING FEES.
"February’s $7.2 million in medical marijuana sales, along with the millions in sales from the preceding months, are generating substantial tax revenue for Oklahoma. The state collects a 7 percent gross receipts tax on all medical cannabis sales. 7 percent of about $7.2 million is roughly $508,000. For January’s $4.3 million, it amounts to $301,000 in sales tax revenue. Yet those figures pale in comparison to the tens of millions the Medical Marijuana Authority has collected in licensing fees."
IMAGE SOURCE: THE LOST OGLE