Oklahoma Rejects Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization, Industry to Remain Medical-Only

1.3 min readPublished On: March 8th, 2023By

OKLAHOMA–Oklahoma voters have rejected a ballot initiative that would have legalized adult-use cannabis in the state. State Question 820, which would have allowed adults aged 21 and over to possess, cultivate, and purchase cannabis for recreational use, was defeated in a vote that saw nearly 62% of voters say no.

Despite support from several high-profile organizations, including the Oklahoma Democratic Party and the Marijuana Policy Project, the initiative faced opposition from law enforcement groups and some prominent political leaders.

Organizers had planned to have the measure on the midterm ballot in November 2022. However, the state’s high court declined to order ballots printed with a still-pending recreational cannabis legalization ballot question on them, and the initiative failed to make it onto the ballot.

Supporters of the initiative expressed disappointment with the outcome and reiterated the potential economic benefits of legalization, including increased tax revenue and job creation. The measure called for a 15% excise tax plus a standard sales tax.

Some medical cannabis advocates have expressed concerns that the rejection of the adult-use legalization initiative could make it more difficult to expand the state’s medical program or to further reform cannabis laws in the future.

Oklahoma already legalized medical cannabis and has nearly 400,000 registered patients, representing 10% of the state’s population. However, the rejection of adult-use cannabis means that the state’s burgeoning cannabis industry will remain medical-only. The state has taken a laissez-faire approach to its MMJ program, and its main metropolis has hundreds of dispensaries for medical patients to choose from. Passing adult-use likely would have created a windfall for retailers caught in the evermore crowded supply side.

About the Author: News Team

Newsteam at Highly Capitalized are some of the most experienced writers in cannabis and psychedelics business & finance. We cover capital markets, finance, branding, marketing and everything important in between. Most of all, we follow the money.

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