Medical and Recreational: OK's Insight in Marijuana

The Chronic Staff | Recent News | February 23, 2021

Oklahoma City - Oklahoma House of Representative, Rep. Scott Fetgatter filed a bill this year which would be an adult-use platform. His plan comprises a recreational program for folks 21 and above that would apply a 15% excise tax to leisure sales. The money would go back to the general revenue fund. You may read the bill here.

You may recall in the last 2 years, the Representative’s take on the matter has changed. He admitted that he was opposed to the medical program of the state involving marijuana in the past. However, he has now become one of the voices of the industry that makes phenomenal steps as we get into exploring other uses to increase the quality of life and keep the industry on a boom.

Most industries over the pandemic have seen the worst monetarily and economically. Medical marijuana is one of the few that survived and even prosper during and still is.

The interim Director at the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, Dr. Kelly Williams said that in June 2019, it had only $2.1 million in excise tax collection whereas it has reached $50 million through the 7% excise tax last year. Therefore, accrued more than $71 million in sales tax revenue for different cities and groups.

State Representative Scott Fetgatter, said that the sales tax revenue that has come to smaller communities or larger cities helped sustain the budget issues that they have faced otherwise.

Patient count exceeds 370,000 which is approximately 10% of Oklahoma’s population and passed profitable licensees.

"In 2020, OMMA said that $12 million more funds for education and another $4 million to rehabilitation programs"

We know that by law the excise fund goes to OMMA. The rest goes to fund for education and rehabilitation programs. In 2020, OMMA said that $12 million more funds for education and another $4 million to rehabilitation programs.

These types of statistics will unquestionably get people's attention, especially when the state is facing upwards of a $400 million budget discrepancy that has to find a way to pay for Medicaid expansion. Medical marijuana can't help there because its tax assemblages are locked in. This is where Rep Fetgatter comes in as he discussed and files a bill to expand the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

This is not the first attempt to pass a bill about recreational plans in Oklahoma. However, the Representative positively thinks that there is support for his plan.