Oklahoma is a state that is very open to medical marijuana. In 2018, medical cannabis became legal in the state. Since then, the number of dispensaries and users has grown very quickly. In October 2023, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority said that there were more than 380,000 current patient licenses and more than 10,000 active business licenses. Which Oklahoma city has the highest rate of buying marijuana in the country?
Oklahoma City Leads the Nation in Cannabis Consumption
A national cannabis dispensary chain called Verilife put out a study saying that Oklahoma City has the highest rate of cannabis use per person in the country. The study looked at information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Marijuana Policy Project, and other places to find out how much cannabis the average adult in Oklahoma City uses each year.
That’s about 5.5 ounces. This is more than twice the normal amount in the country, which is 76.3 grams per year. The study also said that among the top 10 cities with the highest rates of cannabis use, Oklahoma City has the lowest prices.
It costs less than the national average of $358.67 to buy an ounce of high-quality cannabis in Oklahoma City, at $341.50. In other words, people who live in Oklahoma City spend less money on cannabis than people who live in places like Denver, Portland, and Seattle, where cannabis use is common.
Why Is Oklahoma City so Fond of Weed?
Many things might be to blame for the high number of people who buy marijuana in Oklahoma City. One of them is how easy it is to get medical marijuana in the state. Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program is one of the most open-minded in the country. It’s easy to get into and there are many conditions that make you eligible.
A medical marijuana card costs only $100 and is good for two years. Anyone over the age of 18 with a legal doctor’s recommendation can apply for one. Patients are also not limited in how much weed they can grow or have. The fact that cannabis is accepted in Oklahoman culture and society is another issue.
Oklahoma is a traditionally conservative state, but it has taken a progressive stance on cannabis change and legalization. State Question 788, which allowed medical marijuana, was passed by voters with 56.8% of the vote in 2018.
A proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use, called State Question 807, got enough signatures to go on the 2020 ballot, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. Oklahomans still strongly back legalizing marijuana for recreational use, with 60% of those polled in 2020 saying they were in favor of it.
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What are the Benefits and Challenges of Oklahoma City’s Cannabis Scene?
The high rate of buying marijuana in Oklahoma City is both good and bad for the city and the state. On the one hand, the cannabis industry’s growth has brought Oklahoma a lot of money and business possibilities. In fiscal year 2021, which finished on June 30, the Oklahoma Tax Commission says the state got more than $127 million in medical marijuana taxes.
The general fund of the state gets this money. It pays for many public services and programs, like schools, hospitals, and roads. The cannabis business has also made the local economy stronger and produced thousands of jobs, especially in rural areas where dispensaries and growers are located.
However, the high rate of buying weed also comes with some problems and risks for Oklahoma City and its people. One is the chance that cannabis abuse and addiction will get worse, especially among teens and other sensitive groups. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, using weed can hurt the brain, especially if you do it as a teen.
For example, it can make it harder to remember things, learn new things, and pay attention. Also, using cannabis can make you more likely to have mental health issues like anxiety, sadness, and psychosis, especially if you have a family history of these conditions or have been through a traumatic event.
Because of this, it is important to teach people about the possible harms of cannabis use and make sure that those who need it can get the help they need. An additional problem is that the cannabis products offered in the state are not regulated or standardized.
Oklahoma is not like other states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use; cannabis goods are not required to be tested or labeled. In other words, people who buy cannabis products don’t have good knowledge about how strong, pure, or safe those products are.
Overdoses, bad reactions, or exposure to contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, or mold can happen by mistake. To ensure the quality and safety of the products and to protect the health and well-being of the people who buy them, the state needs to set up a strong and uniform testing and labeling system for cannabis products.
Oklahoma City really likes marijuana. It has the most people buying weed in the country because its medical marijuana program is easy to get to and doesn’t cost much. Its attitude toward legalizing cannabis is also modern and tolerant, and its cannabis culture is lively and varied.
There are, however, some problems and risks that come with this, such as the fact that cannabis goods are not regulated or standardized and the chance that cannabis abuse and addiction will get worse. Because of this, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of Oklahoma City’s cannabis scene and encourage people to use cannabis in a smart and responsible way.