It’s frustrating. I have a newfound respect for the likes of the Wright Brothers and Neil Tyson Degrasse (well not really the later but definitely the first). Being ahead of the curve isn’t easy and isn’t fun and is basically a shitty place to exist. I live somewhere between being laughed at by the medical profession and talked about by stoners. The best part is; I fit perfectly into both of those worlds and am not accepted by either. I had such high hopes of what this industry would look like and be like in OKlahoma. Six months in and my husband is in the corner saying I told you so while slowly shaking his head. Not in a mean way, but in a sad disappointed way. He thinks I am an idealist and in the traditional sense; I am idealistic about some things in business. I don’t operate from a position of scarcity. What does that mean? I believe that if we are stewards of the resources we posses; there is enough for everyone. I don’t believe in socialism, communism, or capitalism as an answer to the worlds problems. All of the isms can go to hell for all I care right now. I believe in democracy in its most pure form; uncorrupted by man. I also believe that people are generally good and doing the best they can. In business those values can be flaws, but can they also be strengths?
Stewardship has been a concept that has been ingrained in my heart and mind since a very early age. I was a girl scout for as far back as I can remember and a christian from conception. I was constantly made aware of taking care of the things and people around me. Growing up we were a halfway house for stray animals (and people). My moms heart is much bigger than her wallet or home, a practice she still hones to this day. The idea of taking care of the environment was a hot topic in school in the 1980s and 90s. It was cool to conserve. I remember in third grade doing a play on conservation. I still hum those tunes when brushing my teeth occasionally. So when after college I saw numbers and money become truly what it is, just something on paper that really doesn’t mean anything and all at the same time means everything; I was convinced that there is enough for everyone. We may need to alter how we think about resources and what needs versus luxuries are worth the cost, but at the end of the day, there is enough. There is enough water, land, space, oxygen, we just have to be mindful of how we use those resources. Now your asking, what the fuck is she talking about now? What does stewardship have to do with cannabis and medical marijuana or even ethics? Cannabis is the first industry that has started with the idea of conservation and promoting of ideas that look beyond today and the bottom line. Ideas and practices that will shape the future of commerce. Ideas that will revolutionize trade, agriculture, and industry. Sustainability has been at the forefront of this industry since the beginning. Far before legalization were the growers and farmers creating renewable and sustainable growing practices. Cannabis allows humans a unique way to commune with nature not only through ingesting it but through using it to fuel our minds and economy.
Oklahoma has a unique opportunity to set the standard for adoption of laws that basically eradicate any barriers to entry, which has been amazing. Literally anyone with a clean OSBI record, $2,500 and not within 1,000 feet of a school can stake claim on their medical marijuana business in Oklahoma. At least until August when the belt buckle tightens and the first round of serious adjustments to the legislation take place. So we have thousands of Oklahomans (some backed by out of staters) staking claim and fighting like the dickens for their portion. Stakes are high folks and the gloves are off. The problem I see isn’t that there is competition. It’s rather that competition is not raising the level of community we have here. It is disheartening to see patients hustled through events and not taken seriously.
It’s time to raise the standard. It’s time to set the standard for what a successful medical marijuana program looks like. We are creating the mold for equality and access to medical marijuana, hopefully we can maintain a semblance of ethical decision making during these transitional times. Pioneering a new industry isn’t for the weak hearted. I look forward to working with individuals dedicated to creating an atmosphere of acceptance, diversity and wellness.