It’s Time to Heal: Urge President Biden to Grant “Federal Cannabis Clemency”




Imagine sitting in a cell for years, decades, or even for life, incarcerated for doing the same thing that’s simultaneously netting others millions of dollars.

This is the sad reality for the tens of thousands of people, disproportionately people of color, languishing behind bars due to federal marijuana prohibition.

It’s time to turn words into action. To heal the nation, President Biden must grant clemency to the tens of thousands with federal cannabis convictions.

The Clemency Power.

Article II of the U.S Constitution gives American presidents the unilateral authority to grant clemency, or “reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States.”

The Framers conceived of the clemency power (an umbrella term that includes pardons, commutations, and amnesties) as a mechanism for correcting the inevitable injustices and systemic shortcomings of America’s legal system.

To that end, this absolute power gives the President the (all-too-often squandered) opportunity to dispense “the mercy of government” in cases where the justice system has failed to deliver a morally and publicly acceptable result.

The Details.

While a true dismantling of systemic racism and ‘criminal injustice’ will demand action outside of pardons and commutations, we can think of few things more viscerally unjust than the plight of the thousands of people currently incarcerated in federal prisons for nonviolent cannabis violations.

After all, these “cannabis prisoners” (who unsurprisingly, are disproportionately people of color) remain behind bars for years, decades, or even for life, for doing the exact same thing that has given birth to a $17.9 billion dollar industry.




by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

Cannabis Lawyer

The past several months have seen numerous changes to Oklahoma’s medical marijuana system, including new OMMA Permanent Rules; Amendments to OMMA Permanent Rules by September 16, 2021 Emergency Rules; passage of new bills by the state legislature such as HB 2272, HB 3228, HB 2646, and SB 1033 among those impacting medical marijuana and signed into law by Governor Stitt, with varying effective dates; and litigation over OMMA’s selection of METRC for seed-to-sale tracking. 

This writing will discuss three important changes among the plethora of developments, of which all OMMA business licensees should be aware: 

1) implementation of OMMA on-site inspections to confirm all licensees are in fact operating and doing business; 

2) removal of the 2-year Oklahoma residency requirement for transporter agents; and 

3) allowing OMMA-licensed dispensaries and growers to package and sell medical marijuana as pre-rolls. 


Under OMMA’s Permanent Rules as Amended by the Emergency Rules, OMMA has implemented an “initial operational status visit” for all growers, processors, and dispensaries, effective September 1, 2021. Pursuant to this new provision, OMMA will be scheduling on-site visits at licensed growers, processors, and dispensaries to verify whether the licensee is “actively operating” or is “working towards becoming operational.” (See Title 310, Oklahoma State Department of Health Regulations, Chapter 681-5-4.1.) These visits shall occur within the first 180 days after a new licensee receives their OMMA license. 

If the licensee fails to provide proof that they are “actively operating or working towards operational status”, then OMMA will grant the licensee a grace period of an additional 180 days from the date of OMMA’s initial operational status visit, within which to become operational. Follow-up visits will occur and, in the event the required proof is not provided upon the second visit, then OMMA may grant a discretionary, additional 180 days to the licensee, to become operational. However, the grace period shall not extend beyond the one-year license term. If compliance is not established and/or OMMA elects not to grant an additional grace period, then OMMA will seek revocation of the commercial business license. 


OMMA’s Permanent Rules as Amended by the Emergency Rules remove “transporter agent” from the definition of a “commercial license” but still require that all transporter agents provide proof of 2-year Oklahoma residency. On November 1, 2021, this will change. House Bill 2646, which becomes effective on that date, clarifies the residency requirement to require that transporter agent applicants provide only proof of current Oklahoma residency, as opposed to the 

2-year Oklahoma residency requirement applicable to 75% of the ownership of medical marijuana commercial business licensees. 


House Bill 2646, which becomes effective November 1, 2021, authorizes OMMA licensed dispensaries and growers to package and sell medical marijuana as pre-rolls, thus eliminating any confusion about whether they can do so. 

What’s the take-away? 

While there are many changes coming to Oklahoma’s medical marijuana system in the coming days, it remains the Wild, Wild West. 

Stay alert. 

Information contained herein provides general information related to the law and does not provide legal advice. It is recommended that readers consult their personal lawyer if they want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or is formed between you and Ms. Parrish as a result of this article. 

America: The Great Opportunity

By Tab Moura

It’s become common to have a challenging relationship with the government. Can you believe they passed THAT bill? Did you read the tweet from such-n-such representative? UGH. I don’t feel like anyone is really listening anymore. The nature of some comments I’ve read lately go as far as to say they hate our flag, or don’t feel proud of our nation. So you can imagine my anxiety trying to think of what to share for such an occasion, like Independence Day.


Now, before you assume I don’t have a bone to pick with the government, let me just dispel that real quick. I have bones. I have a whole pile of them. But I have come to make a major distinction, both for my sanity and my energy. Being thankful to live in America is not the same as being blind to how it could be better.

I believe, after living abroad and seeing what other free countries are like, that being in this country gives me the most opportunity to make the world a better place. I can only speak for myself, perhaps someone else has traveled or lived abroad and came to a different conclusion. And guess what? This is America, we can disagree and that doesn’t make either of us wrong. I believe that living in the United States gives me the most opportunities to make the world a better place. That statement makes no difference to either of us if I’m not actually out here trying to make the world a better place. On that note, even if we disagree, I am so thankful we have the right to do so.


Part of why I write so openly about medical cannabis, natural medicine, freedom of information, and medical freedom, is because in this country, I can use platforms like this to make a difference in my community. Yes, other countries have the internet, other countries have representatives appointed by the people, other countries ____. According to some studies, America isn’t even ranked in the top 10 of the freest nations in the world. The point, again, is not that we are a perfect nation, or even the only free nation, but that we are a place of opportunity. Whether you were born here, or came here by choice, you have opportunities.


Examples include:

Rights to a fair trial. Some countries do not have juries, and your fate is determined by a single judge.

Rights to marry who you want. This is a more recent change for our country, but there are many places where this is still not recognized.

Rights to be counted equal. In the United States, when discrimination occurs, citizens have a right to legal action. So while discrimination does still exist, you have the option to defend yourself.

Rights to religious freedom. We may all believe differently, and practice faith how we wish, without discrimination. Places like France have bans on religious face coverings, for example. In the US we just ask that your practice doesn’t cause anyone harm.

Rights to information. This one is a biggie these days. Did you know that in places like China, the government can censor anything from foreign business competition, international news, and even various versions of the Bible? In Russia, news organizations can be shut down for criticizing the government.


I could continue… freedom to vote, freedom to own property, freedom to physically defend yourself… None of these freedoms are exclusive to us. The important thing is that you have them, and you have the right to advocate for additional freedoms, additional changes, additional protections. Just look how much progress we have made, state after state, to give people access to cannabis! It’s easy to focus on how it never should have been prohibited. It’s easy to rant about Bills and Laws that aren’t free enough. I for one feel momentum building… change may be slow, but it’s steady. Hallelujah.

Economic Impact

Economic Impact

by James Bridges

Herbage Magazine


Since 1971, the war on drugs has cost the United States an estimated $1 trillion. In 2015, the federal government spent an estimated $9.2 million every day to incarcerate people charged with drug-related offenses that’s more than $3.3 billion annually.

State governments spent another $7 billion in 2015 to incarcerate individuals for drug-related charges.  North Carolina, for example, spent more than $70 million incarcerating people for drug possession. Georgia spent $78.6 million just to lock up people of color for drug offense 1.6 times more than the state’s budget current for substance use treatment services.

In contrast, marijuana legalization would save roughly $7.7 billion per year in averted enforcement costs and would yield an additional $6 billion in tax revenue. The net total $13.7 billion could send more than 650,000 students to public universities every year.

From The Front Line

by Chip Paul

Efforts are happening behind the scenes which will soon be very public around a repetition of the State for medical marijuana. While we, perhaps, have the best national situation in our program now, it can still be better. We have had a pretty good run with lawmakers who have helped us defend and nurture the program as it has developed. Sadly, but as with most things political, coalitions falter and sometimes break down. That is what we have seen this year in the Oklahoma State Legislature. The Oklahoma Senate seems to want very little to do with the pro- gram. The House is not the bulwark it used to be and we saw some things make it to floor votes that would have been detrimental to the program. Further, we still have people in jail for simple marijuana possession charges. We still have people be- ing denied jobs, or housing, or medical care because they hold a medical marijuana card.

So what will a petition look like?

Actually there will be two petitions. One will deal with criminal justice reform, patient rights, adult use, and full decriminalization. Basically cannabis becomes like turmeric. You are free to grow it, trade it, hold it, etc. The second petition will make some needed changes to the medical program. In particular, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority would be moved out from the Department of Health to a stand alone board. The board will be empowered to build and maintain the regulatory and issue licensing. We will tighten up the doctor patient relationship and will require a physician to have an OMMA license and also pass a proficiency exam. We will change track and trace to congeal around laboratory testing. Batch sizes for flower will be defined as a homogeneous environment (so strain, environment). All raw flower must be tested as it is today. The lab will be responsible for inputting, by batch number, the results. These results will be available in a public database accessible to patients and other commercial businesses.

The only other test that ever would be required is if you are concentrating the flower. After concentration it will need to be tested for metals, pesticide, and residual solvents. There is no other testing that is needed. Final products should rely on the COA’s of the underlying concentrates for potency calculations, just like in the FDA regulated food industry today.

If you would like to get involved watch the OK4UApproved facebook page. Also watch something called the Oklahoma Institute for Plant Molecule Medicine which will be coming online soon. We will have numerous opportunities to help, signature gathering the most needed!

Watch for ways you can sign up and help!

Texas – Landlocked and Surrounded by Legalization

by Veronica Castillo

Texas, the second-largest state in the United States, largest city Houston, largest metro Dallas- Fort Worth, and surrounded by legal/decriminalized states on all sides- refuses to legalize cannabis for medicine.

Present day, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana are medicinally legal and/or decriminalized cannabis states. Meanwhile, Texas doesn’t want smokable hemp legal, they don’t want cannabis available for medicine in any flower form, and they still want to put people in jail for a gram of cannabis.

Recently, Marijuana Moment reported:

The latest developments that have come after a week where Texas lawmakers have considered a medley of marijuana reform measures. But arguably the most significant piece of cannabis legislation to move out of committee would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.”

Texas- what are you doing? This is asked because in the same piece referenced above, it was reported that:

Other decriminalization proposals that were under consideration by the panel this week would not prohibit that enforcement action, which is key because police are currently able to incarcerate people who are arrested for class C misdemeanors even though the charge itself does not carry the risk of jail time in sentencing.”

Texas Medical Cannabis Program

It’s weak to say the least. In Texas, medical cannabis means that cannabis products cannot contain more than .5% THC. Medical cannabis in Texas means that cancer, chronic pain, and PTSD are qualifying conditions for veterans only. The Texas medical cannabis program is so limited that decriminalization still hasn’t happened. CBD oil is the only thing safe.

Hear from Texas Residents and Refugee’s About Cannabis Legalization

Below, you’ll see and hear from three women, Texas residents and Texas refugee’s, all in support of cannabis legalization in Texas. Humans who have a desire to choose for themselves, the plants that they consume to treat their medical conditions. Humans that want the government to to release the shackles placed on a plant with a track record of success dating back to the ancient days.

Alexis Olive- Texas resident and supporter of cannabis legalization in Texas:



Lizzie Maldonado– Texas resident and supporter of Texas cannabis legalization:



Khadijah Adams– former Texas resident- relocated for access to cannabis:


Final Thoughts

Cannabis will prevail! The old south mentality is being laid to rest and a new day has arrived. It makes no sense to continue to write prescriptions for opioids in Texas. In 2018, Texas medical providers wrote 47.2 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people. Cannabis isn’t available there to treat with, so will Texas still use the “cannabis is a gateway drug” lame and outdated excuse?

Could it be that cannabis is the plant that sustains their prison system? Prison Policy reports that:

Texas has an incarceration rate of 891 per 100,000 people; it locks up a higher percentage of its people than many wealthy democracies do.”

Texas- the time for legalization has come!

Harborside Decision

by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, Cannabis Lawyer

Harborside was brilliantly briefed and argued before the Tax Court by my International Cannabis Bar Association colleague, Henry Wykowski, an exceptionally talented cannabis attorney headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.

2021 Legislation Still in Play, by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

If you are in the cannabis industry in Oklahoma or, for that matter, anywhere in the United States, you likely have heard of 280-E and the infamous 2018 Harborside decision of the U.S. Tax Court. If not, you need to know about both, along with a new decision filed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on April 22, 2021, upholding the Tax Court’s Harborside decision.

What is the Harborside Decision?

In Patients Mutual Assistance Collective Corporation d.b.a. Harborside Health Center v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 151 T.C. No. 11 (November 29, 2018) 2, the Tax Court determined Harborside, a well-known dispensary and brand based in Oakland, California that was co-founded by cannabis legend Steve DeAngelo, owed approximately $11 million in back taxes because it took business deductions and exclusions “in connection with the sale of a federally illegal substance.”

Harborside appealed the decision in Patients Mutual Assistance Collective Corporation, d.b.a. Harborside Health Center v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 19-73078, filed April 22, 2021. On appeal, the issue considered by the Ninth Circuit was whether Harborside, a dispensary that purchases and resells marijuana and uses the cost method to value its inventory, must account for its inventory cost in accord with Section 1.471-3(b) of the Treasury Regulations.

While the issue sounds complicated, the impact on OMMA licensees is simple: for purposes of federal income tax, the only deduction available in calculating gross income is the cost of purchasing or producing the goods being sold (“cost of goods sold” or “COGS”). No standard business deductions are available to cannabis businesses in our country.

What is Section 280E and Who Cares?

A provision in the Internal Revenue Code known as Section 280E prohibits cannabis companies from claiming deductions and exclusions available to every other business in the country. Section 280E was enacted in 1982 after a U.S. Tax Court decision allowed a drug dealer to deduct expenses associated with his illegal business activities and provides:

No deduction or credit shall be allowed for any amount paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business if such trade or business (or the activities which comprise such trade or business) consists of trafficking in controlled substances (within 2 the meaning of schedule I and II of the Controlled Substances Act) which is prohibited by federal law or the law of any state in which such trade or business is conducted.

Since marijuana remains a Schedule I illegal substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), then OMMA licensees doing business within Oklahoma’s medical marijuana system are considered to be “trafficking in controlled substances” under the CSA and, as such, are not allowed any deduction or income tax credit for amounts paid or incurred in the course of their business activities.

To simplify how this impacts Oklahoma cannabis businesses, it means that the only deduction available in calculating gross income for purposes of federal income tax is the cost of purchasing or producing the goods being sold by that business (COGS). This would include, for example, the wholesale price of medical marijuana a dispensary owner pays to a grower or processor, or the cost a grower incurs from actually growing medical marijuana. It does not include expenses such as wages or rent.

In practice, Oklahoma medical marijuana companies (and cannabis businesses across the United States) often pay a tax rate of 80% to 90% to the IRS, unlike other businesses. Even if an OMMA licensee has a net loss on its books, the company will still incur significant federal tax liability.

So…what’s the take-away?

The Harborside decision, along with the IRS’s admission it has been training agents for at least eight years “in the finer details of auditing marijuana companies, using PowerPoint presentations that outline everything from legal precedents to questions that should be asked during interviews with business owners” should send you running to your cannabis CPA—which, by the way, is a must-have member of your team.

Information contained herein provides general information related to the law and does not provide legal advice. It is recommended that readers consult their personal lawyer if they want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or is formed between you and Ms. Parrish as a result of this article.


Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Program – 2021 Legislation Still In Play

by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish | Cannabis Lawyer

Earlier this year I provided an introduction to some of the more substantive bills filed in the Oklahoma House and Senate pertaining to Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Program. What follows are highlights concerning the more important bills that now have been passed by the legislative body in which they originated, and have been referred to legislative committees in the other, non-originating legislative body.


Highlights of the provisions included in several bills passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives, sent to the Senate and referred to a Senate Committee, include, but are not limited to the following.

House Bill 2272

House Bill 2272 creates the Cap on Medical Marijuana Businesses Act of 2021. It passed the House on March 10, 2021, and has been sent to the Senate, where it passed in the Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee and is now under consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

A METRC Primer, by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

Notably, this bill provides for a two-year cap on OMMA dispensary, processor, and commercial grower licenses beginning September 1, 2021, and ending September 1, 2023. The bill caps those licenses “at the total number of licenses active in each category as of September 1, 2021, combined with the total number of applications pending in each category with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority which were submitted prior to September 1, 2021. In order to determine the final amount of authorized medical marijuana dispensary licenses, medical marijuana processor licenses and medical marijuana commercial grower licenses in this state, the Authority shall first process all pending applications for each license category received prior to September 1, 2021, and add that number to the total number of active licenses in each category as of September 1, 2021.”

This bill also allows for submission of a commercial business license application without a Certificate of Compliance (“CoC”), giving each applicant one hundred eighty days from the date of a provisional license approval (available without the CoC) to submit the required CoC to OMMA.

The bill calls for an automatic reduction in the number of dispensary licenses, such reduction to be based on the number of medical marijuana dispensary licenses surrendered, canceled or otherwise terminated, until such time as the total number of active medical marijuana dispensary licenses is equal in number to two thousand, beginning September 1, 2021, and ending September 1, 2023.

House Bill 2646

House Bill 2646 clarifies the duties of OMMA. It was sent to the Senate on March 15, where it has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee after passing in the Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee.

House Bill 2004

House Bill 2004 concerns licensing, taxes, and also clarifies OMMA’s duties and functions. It passed the House and has been referred to the Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee.

Notably, this bill allows patients with medical marijuana licenses to legally possess twelve mature plants instead of the current cap of six mature plants. It also provides for a temporary patient license for residents of other states, and seals all patient and caregiver records and information to protect privacy, specifically providing that “such records shall not be shared with any other state agency or political subdivision without a warrant”.

House Bill 2674

House Bill 2674 would transfer the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission. This bill passed the House and was referred to the Senate, where it has been assigned to the Public Safety Committee and then to the Appropriations Committee. If passed by the Senate and signed into law, it would mandate significant changes to Oklahoma’s existing medical marijuana system.


Highlights of the provisions included in several Oklahoma Senate bills that have been passed and referred to the state House of Representatives include the following.

Senate Bill 459

Senate Bill 459 addresses workplace drug and alcohol procedures and modifies safety-sensitive positions, including additional rights of medical marijuana patients. The bill also modifies definitions of “batch number”, “cannabinoid”, “clone”, “caregiver” and “child-resistant” packaging (among others). It also adds “volunteers” to the classification of individuals who serve in safety-sensitive positions and may be subject to a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy. The bill was referred to the House Business and Commerce Committee on March 22, 2021.

Senate Bill 1033

Senate Bill 1033 amends language contained in State Question 788 to protect medical marijuana license holders from discrimination under certain circumstances by schools, landlords, and employers.

Significantly, this bill also prohibits municipalities from unduly changing or restricting zoning laws to prevent the opening of dispensaries. The bill grandfathers-in certain licensed locations, clarifies how to measure the 1000-foot setback distance required for dispensaries from any public or private school entrance, and allows license transfers under certain conditions. It has been assigned to the House Alcohol, Tobacco, and Controlled Substances Committee.

Senate Bill 522

Senate Bill 522 requires the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to contract with one or more third-party vendors to provide certain licensing services for medical marijuana education facility licensees, medical marijuana business licensees and employees of such entities. This bill passed the Senate and has been referred to the House Alcohol, Tobacco, and Controlled Substances Committee.

So…what’s the take-away? Stay tuned!

There may be some significant changes in Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana System by May 2021!
Information contained herein provides general information related to the law and does not provide legal advice. It is recommended that readers consult their personal lawyer if they want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or is formed between you and Ms. Parrish as a result of this article.

Found Myself in Texas

by Brittiany Ralls

Visiting family and friends in Texas quickly reminds me of the days of the past. At least for a lot of the country at this point. Texas is still one of the few states that does not have a cannabis program in place that allows for a majority of their citizens to access their medicinal cannabis. The Texas program is limited to an extreme and is denying many of its citizens the medical option they need in place of the pain management facilities that are the current option. Many of which are just fueling the war on drugs that has clearly been lost. So many people are still relying on this as an only option, leaving many using substances that are detrimental to their long-term health and no end in sight with the current climate of regulation. There are hopes of new regulations coming that could change cannabis laws. In Texas, there is always hope. But, never quite the reform that is necessary.

Texas Again, by Brittiany Ralls

We as humans all have an endocannabinoid system that is directly affected by the cannabinoids we take in just like any other vitamin or nutrient-rich substance necessary for the sustainment of life. Especially a happy one. Yet there are children, elderly, disabled, shit every human in a way has had to suffer without the correct cannabinoids to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Science is completely disregarded as if it isn’t a part of this that matters. When in reality our doctors haven’t even been taught about a system that does exist within our bodies. So how would they even begin to know how to practice with a medicine and bodily system they know nothing about. They can’t in good conscience tell you anything about the endocannabinoid system, they never even learned about it. Since cannabis is an illegal substance that somehow decided that the system within our bodies no longer existed also?! I didn’t realize that’s how science worked. This is why we need access to information that we can rely on as patients. With the current climate, we can’t even go to our doctors to get information that we know we can rely on. That is why utilizing resources like Herbage Magazine is so vital. Writers, like me, want the real information. We want to give you the information you can count on, the information you know is helpful.

Which is what our goal will be, impacting the Texas community by educating and stimulating the community through volunteering. Showing the citizens of Texas, who are hesitant about cannabis, that we are wanting to be a part of society and impact it in a good way. That we are more than willing to prove our intentions through action within our communities by providing the bridge needed for the path necessary for growth as humans, and righting the many wrongs done by the war on drugs. By showing who we are, what we support, and being honest about our needs, we can make changes to the current medical cannabis program. With the help of those in support we need everyone we can get to make the changes we want to see for those that we care about and the life we know we are deserving of. Which includes access to cannabis as a medicine for as many Texans as possible. Who’s ready for this wild ride? I know I am!

Brittiany Ralls | Consultant




From the Front Lines

by Chip Paul | Gnupharma/OK4U

What is up with the OMMA?  Has your commercial cannabis business been inspected?  Did you know every other license the OMMA issues, you MUST be inspected BEFORE you are awarded your license?  A marijuana commercial business license is the only Oklahoma State Department of Health issued license you can get WITH ABSOLUTELY NO INSPECTION.  Does anyone else find this odd?

Further, with the lack of physician education on the endocannabinoid system, patients have to rely on and trust a budtender for advice about a substance they are using medically.  What training is that budtender required to have?  Yep, ZERO.

Where is the protector of patient rights and patient protections?  This should be our Oklahoma State Department of Health.  Why are they not suggesting these additional protections to lawmakers?  Hair Cutting is more tightly controlled than marijuana at the moment.  Now why would that be?

A METRC Primer

by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish |

Many months ago, OMMA announced that it had awarded METRC its seed-to-sale contract. Now, implementation is in full swing, with initial training and credentialing classes available and completion required by March 26, 2021. Notably, OMMA also has announced that it will require beginning inventory to be completely reported into METRC by April 30, 2021. Perhaps this spring’s million-dollar question in Oklahoma is, “What does METRC mean for OMMA commercial business licensees?”.

What is METRC?

METRC is a privately owned track-and-trace system that depends on 1) physical, proprietary RFID tags that must be purchased only from METRC, and 2) METRC’s online, cloudbased software. This software requires an internet connection and computer for access, and supports an open “Application Programming Interface” (“API”) that allows licensees to use METRC with any third-party point of sale systems (“POS”) that have the appropriate API to integrate with METRC. However, such a third-party POS is not required, because a licensee can input its sales data into METRC directly, if they so desire.

Changes In the Wind, by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

METRC’s implementation by OMMA is not for the benefit businesses or patients. Instead, the METRC system benefits the governmental agency who has contracted with it—here, OMMA. METRC offers online training, inventory and lab testing guides, and an Oklahoma-specific supplemental guide. METRC’s website states that it has provided track-and-trace solutions for 13 other states and the District of Columbia. Thus, while it is not in use by all medical (or adult-use) programs, it certainly has a significant stake in the market share.

METRC charges licensees $40 per month, per license, as a reporting fee to access the platform and for ongoing support, maintenance, training, and the like. In addition, METRC’s proprietary RFID tags are 45 cents per plant tag and 25 cents per package tag. These tags are not interchangeable or reusable. They contain barcodes and chips that uniquely identify each plant and package, as the case may be, operating like serial numbers for each plant. These RFID tags must be read with an RFID tag reader. Here in Oklahoma, where we have only a medical system, the tags will be yellow. Blue tags are used for adult-use/recreational systems. Users must manually enter additional information, including weight, custody transfers, and test results into the METRC system. All information is only available to each specific licensee and to OMMA.

Training Requirements

OMMA requires all licensees—those currently operating and those with commercial business licenses that are not currently operating—to complete METRC training and credentialing classes. METRC began offering daily training classes for employees on March 1, 2021, and all METRC training and subsequent credentialing of businesses into OMMA licensees’ user accounts must be completed by March 26, 2021.

After completion of the training and credentialing, then licensees will have access to a Beginning Inventory Guide, which provides the information necessary for licensees to enter their initial plant and/or package inventories into METRC’s system. Given the short time fuse on full integration requirements mandated by OMMA, licensees should complete their METRC training and credentialing, and review the Beginning Inventory Guide as soon as possible.

Impact on Licensees

OMMA requires all commercial business licensees to enter and report their beginning inventory into METRC by April 30, 2021. What does this mean, exactly? On April 30, 2021, the beginning inventory period for METRC closes and OMMA commercial business licensees who are actually operating must report all inventory transactions to, and into, METRC. In other words, the last monthly report OMMA commercial business licensees (who are actually operating) will submit to OMMA will be the April 2021 report, which will be filed by licensees in May 2021. However, OMMA licensees who are not actually operating will continue their filing of “zero inventory” monthly reports with OMMA.

Every licensee must have a designated “METRC Administrator” in the METRC system, to complete the credentialing process. The METRC Administrator must be an owner or a designated manager of the OMMA licensee, and must complete METRC’s new business training course, which is provided in a webinar-format at this time. OMMA has advised that advanced training classes will become available in the future, and will be tailored for administrators according to license type. Licensees should select the METRC Administrator with great care, given that these persons will have complete access to, and control over, the licensee’s governmental reporting system. Any missteps or sabotage by a disgruntled employee could prove fatal to the licensee’s compliance and could likely result in fines or loss of the license.

While OMMA has not overtly stated this, it is axiomatic that METRC will lock down genetics statewide. What does this mean? As of April 30, 2021, no out-of-state genetics will be considered acceptable under OMMA standards and Oklahoma law. While the issue of out-of-state seeds has arguably remained somewhat of a gray area, METRC’s implementation transforms the gray to a clear black and white. OMMA’s statewide track and trace system will easily flag any seeds that cannot be accounted for as having originated in the State of Oklahoma, and genetics acquired from outside the state will not be acceptable or legal.

So…what’s the take-away?

It could be a stressful spring here in the Wild, Wild West.

Changes In the Wind

by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish | Cannabis Lawyer

Has the pandemic given Oklahoma legislators too much time to ponder what changes they would like to see in Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program? Perhaps. As of January 22, 2021, they have filed a combined number of approximately 38 bills (some are only one-page titles and several are arguably redundant) relating to medical marijuana in some form or fashion.

Authors of Bills Filed

Authors in the House of Representatives filing bills relating to medical marijuana include Representatives May, (Josh) West, Roberts (Dustin), Davis, Frix, Kannady, Echols, Ford, Pfeiffer, Sneed, West (Rick), Fetgatter, Townley, and Humphrey. Authors in the Senate of bills filed that relate to medical marijuana include Dahm, Paxton, Daniels, Standridge, Rader, Bergstrom, Leewright, Montgomery, Taylor, and Hicks.

Whether some of these bills actually make it out of committee and to a floor vote in either legislative body, much less approval by both bodies and signed into law by the Governor, all remains to be seen. However, it is important to track what has been filed and each bill’s ultimate fate in the upcoming 2021 legislative session.


The bills filed by the above-named state legislators cover a plethora of topics related to Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program. Descriptions of several substantive bills filed in the state House of Representatives include the following: revenue and taxation changes (House Bill [“HB”] 1908); delivery by dispensaries to certain private residences (HB1960); referendum to Oklahoma voters for the “Oklahoma Adult Access to Marijuana Act of 2021 (HB1961); and clarification of OMMA’s duties and functions with amendments to S.Q. 788 via the “Oklahoma Marijuana Act of 2021” (HB2004).

Congress Boards the MJ Research Train, by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

Descriptions of some substantive bills filed in the state Senate include the following: directing OMMA to contract with one or more third-party vendors to provide licensing services (Senate Bill [“SB] 522); criminal penalties for OMMA-licensed patients who carry or use firearms when “under the influence of medical marijuana” and additional preclusions for Oklahomans eligible for a handgun license under the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act (SB442); amending current restrictions on smoking medical marijuana in certain areas including: airport restrictions on medical marijuana use “in any area that is open to or used by the public” indoors or outdoors if within 175 feet from an entrance, same as to an “indoor workplace”, basically designating all state-owned, county or municipal-owned buildings and educational facilities as tobacco and marijuana free (SB445); modifying workplace drug and alcohol procedures and safety-sensitive positions, including additional rights of medical marijuana patients (SB459); amending definitions in the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act (“Unity Act”) concerning testing laboratory licenses, requiring testing of medical marijuana waste prior to transfer and separation of such waste into waste batches, and clarifying or revising certain definitions (SB680); permitting pharmacists to compound products containing marijuana or THC in the event marijuana becomes legal under federal law (SB696); and basically prohibiting schools and landlords from refusing to enroll or lease, respectively, to OMMA-licensed medical marijuana patients, unless doing so would cause the loss of monetary of licensing-related benefits under federal law (SB1033).

As the 2021 legislative session progresses, it will be interesting to see whether Oklahoma’s legislature chooses to avoid the traps that have snared so many other states’ medical and adult-use marijuana programs—chief among them over-regulation, over-taxation, and unduly burdensome regulatory requirements with little, if any, benefit to medical marijuana patients and state-licensed medical marijuana businesses.

So…what’s the take-away?

Once again, it’s going to be a very busy spring here in the Wild, Wild West.

Congress Boards the MJ Research Train

by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, Cannabis Lawyer

In the wake of passing the MORE Act, which I wrote about in my December 2020 column, two other Acts related to marijuana were passed by Congress at the end of 2020. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Medical Marijuana Research Act (“MMRA”) on December 9, 2020. MMRA is bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Andy Harris (R-MD) that addresses the burdensome impediments to legitimate medical research. Subsequently, on December 15, 2020, the U.S. Senate approved its own bipartisan bill, the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act (CMREA). The CMREA also promotes cannabis studies and addresses current impediments.

More Act by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

A 2017 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that “research on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids has been limited in the United States, leaving patients, health care professionals, and policy makers without the evidence they need to make sound decisions regarding the use of cannabis and cannabinoids.” Thus, passage by the House and Senate of MMRA and CMREA is good news moving into 2021. It appears that Congress finally recognizes the value of cannabis research, and plans to encourage studies by removing antiquated federal roadblocks. The caveat is that, in order for federal legislation to become law, it must be passed by the House and the Senate, and signed by the President. Hopefully, Congress will reach an agreement on a unified version of these two bills during the early months of 2021.

Barriers to Cannabis Research

Federal law severely limits studies concerning health benefits of cannabis. There is a burdensome registration procedure, protocol reviews are redundant in many instances, security requirements are onerous and unnecessary, especially given that approximately ninety-nine percent of Americans now live in a state where marijuana is legal in some form, and there is just a complete lack of significant research. Limitations also apply to where marijuana for research can be obtained and unfortunately, the quality of that marijuana has been poor—a recognized fact now—which has inevitably hampered accurate results of any significant research studies concerning its health benefits

Cannabis Testing by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

Source Limitations for Marijuana Used in Research Since “marihuana” remains a Schedule I substance under the federal 1970 Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) regulates its cultivation for research purposes. The DEA controls registration requirements and establishes annual aggregate production quotas under the authority of the CSA. Unbelievably, the DEA has issued only one registration for research marijuana cultivation—to the University of Mississippi. Thus, only the University of Mississippi has been authorized to grow marijuana for use in research studies. Every few years, the University designates the land where marijuana crops are grown based on current and expected demand. Then, the marijuana is grown, harvested, stored, and made available in bulk or as particular elements of the plant, for use in research. The subpar quality of the University-grown marijuana renders it almost useless in conducting serious studies that might yield reliable, usable data leading researchers to significant conclusions about marijuana’s health benefits.

Additionally, studies have shown that this marijuana has lower levels of THC and CBD as compared to commercial grade cannabis products and is, in fact, genetically closer to hemp than the marijuana varieties sold at dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal. Given that marijuana and hemp are genetically distinct, reliance upon the low-grade marijuana cultivated at the University of Mississippi for research about its health benefits is problematic. Participants in studies who consume the varieties cultivated at the University may experience vastly different effects than patients and adult-use consumers that obtain their marijuana product from dispensaries, yielding unreliable results and faulty conclusions. However, efforts by the DEA to expand the number of federally authorized marijuana cultivators for research purposes are underway, and passage of the above pieces of legislation will likely ensure that higher quality marijuana becomes available for research purposes.

Medical Marijuana Research Act

The MMRA achieves four main goals. It addresses the poor quality and inadequate supply of medical-grade marijuana available for use in research; provides a clear path for researchers to study cannabis products used by patients and adult-use consumers pursuant to state-legal programs; streamlines the unduly burdensome, redundant process that researchers must navigate before obtaining a license to conduct marijuana research while guarding against misuse and abuse; and requires that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provide a report on the status and results of new research concerning the health benefits of marijuana.

The full text of the MMRA can be found here.

Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act

The CMREA, passed by the Senate, is primarily intended to streamline the application process for researchers to study marijuana and to encourage the Food and Drug Administration to develop cannabis-derived medicines. The congressional summary of the Act states that it allows “accredited medical and osteopathic schools, practitioners, research institutions, and manufacturers with a Schedule I registration” to cultivate their own cannabis for research purposes. This provision would insulate researchers from the requirement of using the poor quality marijuana cultivated at the University of Mississippi.

The Act also specifies that physicians can discuss the risks and benefits of marijuana with patients, and, in similarity to the required report under the MMRA, requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to submit a report concerning the potential health benefits of marijuana and addressing barriers to cannabis research and how best to overcome those barriers. The CMREA has been endorsed by mainstream medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

The full text of the CMREA can be found here.


Differences in MMRA and CMREA

One major difference in the MMRA and the CMREA is that the House bill (MMRA) allows scientists to obtain marijuana from dispensaries in legal states for research purposes, whereas the CMREA allows them to cultivate their own marijuana for such purposes. Both provisions are clearly designed to circumvent current federal requirements that marijuana used for research purposes must be cultivated at the University of Mississippi. Another difference in the two pieces of legislation is the provision in the CMREA protecting physicians from penalties under the CSA, to allow discussion of risks and benefits of marijuana products with patients.

Will we see more federally-approved marijuana research projects in 2021?
Stay tuned.

Information contained herein provides general information related to the law and does not provide legal advice. It is recommended that readers consult their personal lawyer if they want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or is formed between you and Ms. Parrish as a result of this article.

From the Front Lines

by Chip Paul

At this writing 2020 is coming to an end.  Perhaps the craziest year of my lifetime.  In addition to not knowing the truth about a mask, we cannot even conclude a Presidential election.  We are beginning to learn about numerous foreign influences in our politics and major institutions.  I would wager there will be accountability and justice soon.  Let’s just hope this doesn’t hit too close to home.

Our cannabis industry was thankfully and necessarily declared an “essential” business that needed to stay open even during the worst of the china flu.  Man have we come a long way since this all kicked off in 2014.


So what will happen with cannabis in Oklahoma in 2021?  Here are my predictions:
From the Front Lines by Chip Paul
  • – we will increase our patient count to 15% of our overall population


  • – the number of active and open cannabis commercial business will decrease


  • – an adult-use bill will be considered by the Oklahoma State Legislature


  • – the OMMA will greatly increase inspections


  • – the OMMA will partner with industry groups and trade organizations to help educate patients


  • – Oklahoma will continue to lead the cannabis market with new innovations


  • – TRUE marijuana research will begin in Oklahoma


  • – education will continue to be a huge issue in the gap between medicine and cannabis


Happy new year everyone!  Good bye and good riddance to 2020!  Let’s make 2021 a rebuilding and renewing year.

More Act


by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, Cannabis Lawyer

One of the questions I often am asked is whether, or when, Congress will legalize marijuana. Federal legislation has been introduced to accomplish this—either for medicinal purposes (CARERS Act of 2019) or for whatever purposes each particular state has legalized marijuana (STATES Act). The MORE Act decriminalizes marijuana and recognizes the rights of states to enact their own laws concerning it.

Significantly, the MORE Act is set for a floor vote in the United States House of Representatives the first week in December 2020, somewhere between Wednesday, December 2 and Friday, December 4, 2020. This upcoming floor vote is historic because it is the first ever Congressional roll call concerning a bill that would end federal marijuana criminalization, and by the time you read this, that vote likely will have occurred.

What is the MORE Act?

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (“MORE Act”) would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Currently marijuana, like heroin, is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance under that Act.

Decriminalization vs. Legalization
Cannabis Testing by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

The MORE Act would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. However, decriminalization is not the same as legalization. Decriminalization is the removal of criminal penalties, whereas legalization is the removal all penalties.

However, the MORE Act would also recognize each state’s law concerning marijuana, thereby permitting states to enact their own regulation policies so that marijuana would continue to remain illegal in some states while legal in others. If the Act passes, then those states which have legalize marijuana for medical or adult (recreational) use, including Oklahoma’s medical system, would no longer have to live under the threat of federal interference with their marijuana laws or federal prosecution for the use, possession, or distribution of marijuana.

Assistance for Victims of The War on Drugs

Notably, the MORE Act would expunge and seal previous nonviolent federal marijuana-related arrests and convictions for those not currently serving their sentences. Those currently serving sentences for federal marijuana arrests and/or convictions would have the opportunity for a review of their sentences, with the potential to have their records expunged and their sentences vacated. As such, this aspect of the MORE Act represents a welcome reprieve for those adversely impacted by the war on drugs.

Are OMMA’s Residency Requirements Unconstitutional?
by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

Additional provisions include the establishment of an Office of Cannabis Justice within the Department of Justice. This Office would be responsible for administering grants to aid communities negatively affected by the war on drugs, including an “Opportunity Trust Fund” and a “Community Reinvestment Grant Program”. The Act would prohibit the denial of any federal public benefits, like housing, on the basis of marijuana use, and prohibit any adverse impact under federal immigration laws for those who use or possess marijuana. The MORE Act would also impose a five percent commercial sales tax on marijuana, the proceeds of which would be designated, at least in principle, to assist those adversely impacted by the war on drugs.

Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, stated back in August 2020, when House lawmakers were originally preparing for a September floor vote on the MORE Act, that “Passage of the MORE Act is essential in order to truly right the wrongs of federal marijuana criminalization, and to once and for all allow the majority of states that have legalized cannabis for either medical or adult-use to embrace these policies free from the threat of undue federal prosecution or interference.”

Will we see federal policy change by 2021?

Stay tuned.


Information contained herein provides general information related to the law and does not provide legal advice. It is recommended that readers consult their personal lawyer if they want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or is formed between you and Ms. Parrish as a result of this article.

Red Tape in Ponca City

by Michael Kinney 

All Sergio Villarruel wanted to do was open a marijuana dispensary in his hometown. He was one of the first people in Ponca City to apply for a license when SQ 788 was passed. At that point, it looked like it would be clear sailings and he and his wife Candace would soon be welcoming customers through their front doors.  

However, what Villarruel didn’t know at the time was that he and his family would be in store for a two-year battle that pitted them against the city’s local government. It would cost the family thousands of dollars and their reputation in parts of the community.  

But Villarruel refused to give in and is now the proprietor of Life Leaf Dispensary in Ponca City.   
cowboy cup 2020 poster
Buckle Up by Michael Kinney | Art by Tim Jessell

“We just spent so much money just trying to hang on, to get something open that, it’s almost devastated us financially just trying to get it open,” said Sergio’s wife, Candace Villarruel. “And we have four kids; we cannot be devastated financially. We’re 30-somethings with four kids. We have to make this work and we believe in it. That’s the thing, we believe it is so positive. It can be so positive and beneficial.”  

Sergio Villarruel first got the idea to open a dispensary more than 10 years ago. His father, who was a bail bondsman in Ponca City was diagnosed with cancer.   

The prevailing method at the time was to pump him full of prescription drugs just to deal with the side effects.  

“My father ended up getting cancer in 2010. And afterward, after they cut out the infected area of his large intestine, they put him through radiation and chemo,” Villarruel said. “Well, a lot of the treatment of radiation chemo ended up giving him peripherin. So he had neuropathy from knees all the way to the toe and that led all the way through his fingers. And so he was in constant pain. They had him on two 100 milligram Fentanyl patches, four 60 milligrams OxyContin, and then six 30 milligram OxyContin, all in a day.”  

Villarruel said the number of drugs his father was taking on a daily basis he described as enough to kill a bear. And he knew there was a better way.  

“So mainly, my reason why I started, I wanted to do this. It’s always been a dream of mine at first then, and secondly is to help people like my father,” Villarruel said. “My dad is a Vietnam vet. He worked at Conoco for 40 years and so, he got a very good reputation. And he worked his butt off for me and my two brothers, by himself; I never knew my mom or anything. He’s a very good person. Everybody loves him. And it’s just hard to see him go through this and not be able to do nothing. Well, now I can with the cannabis industry.”  

Eight years later, Oklahoma passed SQ 788 and Villarruel rushed to get his license. But that is when the trouble began.   
Art of Design by Michael Kinney

Before SQ 788 passed, the Ponca City Board of Commissioners voted to enact ordinances to establish zoning regulations for retail sales of medical marijuana. The ordinance did not allow for the cultivation and processing of cannabis inside city limits.   

Those businesses who planned to be involved in the retail sales of marijuana could only do so in areas that were zoned C2.   

The first building Villarruel attempted to set up shop was in a pharmacy that shared property lines with a church. It was also zoned C1.   

After a back and forth and sometimes contentious and confusing interactions with the zoning board, Villarruel was forced to give up on the property.  

This happened three more in which the Villarruels would find what they thought was the perfect spot and the zoning commission would find a reason to deny them clearance to use it. One of those times came after the Villarruels had already started rehabbing the building and working on the foundation.   

During this entire time, they were not making any money. And with four children to take care of, it was putting the Villarruels in a tough spot.   

“We’re looking at least a $100,000, at least that we have spent,” Candance Villarruel said. 

“We were just sitting on our hands. Not only are we still hemorrhaging money, every step of the way, we’re not able to make money because both of us, we stopped working. This was what we were doing. We thought we were going to be open in August of 2018. We fully planned on that.”  

“So, I mean, I’d say we’re probably easy into the $100,000 range. And that’s not even considering nothing is coming in, just money going out.”  

It wasn’t until January of this year that the Villarruels found a place that seemed to work for all interested parties.   
OkiePristine by Michael Kinney

“It was crazy. It’s been an ordeal, but again, at least we’re up and running now and we’re happy. And we have a beautiful, beautiful shop now, it’s historic. Very cool,” Candace Villarruel said. “It is in the historic Rock Island Train Depot, built in, I believe, 1910. It’s beautiful. It’s a very cool building. It’s been restored and we could not be happier. It has made it a perfect place for a dispensary. It’s been a good home for us.”  

The Villarruels didn’t get near the same type of push back from Ponca City officials as they had with previous attempts. They believe a big reason is due to the location.    

“This one is in what a lot of people would consider an undesirable area of town. It’s in our South part of town. I lived in the South part of town for years and I never had any problems,” Candace Villaruel said. “I like the south part of town, but apparently it is not as desirable. But we have no neighbors. It’s just a freestanding building. I think it just has to do with location. And it had been for sale… The people that we are currently in a lease situation with, they had a coffee shop and it didn’t get a lot of traffic. People weren’t willing to go off the beaten path for a cup of coffee, but for some medical cannabis, they’re more willing to come to us.”  

While their journey to this point has been a difficult one, the Villarruels like where they have landed. Yet, they have not forgotten what they have been through or the people who put them through it.   

“A lot of these small communities like Ponca Cities are shutting out what should be legal,” Sergio Villarruel said. “Like Ponca City cannot process or grow in city limits, which there is nothing in the law or the Oklahoma statutes that says that. I’d like to get it out that they’re doing this. I’m not trying to make any more trouble or of anything, because God knows, I’ve probably made enough trying to open up this business. I want to recognize the fact that Ponca City is doing what they want, not listening to the state laws.”  

Cannabis is Medicine- Like It or Not, A Letter to the Government

by Veronica Castillo

Dear United States Government,

Many of us grew up in a time where weed/ marijuana/ cannabis was taught to be negative; a bad drug. Remember the fried egg commercial: “this is your brain (whole egg), this is your brain on drugs (cracked egg frying), any questions”? Such loads of buffalo crap when focusing on Cannabis and the human body.

What I know for sure is that alcohol was never a part of that message and those like it. We have a huge double standard out here on the West of the globe. For the most part, doctors push prescription meds instead of plant meds, holistic coaches are under appreciated, and instead of recommending plants- healthcare here in the U.S prefers the masking method: a pill for this condition and another for the side effects of the 1st one, then another for the side effects of the 1st two and so on.

In this country, you- the U.S government, glorify the consumption of alcohol. I mean go to many parties, events, and even corporate gatherings- and liquor will be found and there is a dance and celebration around it. Go to a team outing and liquor is allowed to be expensed. Taking a flight? Alcohol is available on your way to the airport, it is available in the airport, and even on the plane-no prescription needed, no recommendation necessary. Note that there are 0 medicinal benefits for alcohol, yet, you allowed prohibition of that deadly and non-medicinal drug to be no more.

Cannabis treats a number of conditions, and in my opinion, there is nothing that Cannabis can’t help with. M.S, migraine, depression, anxiety, cancer, PTSD, and many more- all of which are protected by ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and yet ADA doesn’t protect Cannabis patients- shame on you!

“But Cannabis alters your mind”, so does love. “Smoking causes cancer”, possibly, but you don’t have to “smoke” Cannabis. “Legal Cannabis means more crime”, definitely a lie proved by bodies of research out there. I believe that lies were created to scare us, like the author of “It’s all thought” says:

We are headed into 2021, and there are mountains of research that show and prove the medicinal benefits of Cannabis. It’s time for full legalization- no more prohibition! For those that smoke, eat, vape, etc. Cannabis, regardless of the intention of use- those folks are treating- maybe even before needed, like a preventative. Cannabis is medicine no matter the reason for consumption!

With over half of the states legalizing for medicine, and the growing number of states legalizing Cannabis for recreational consumption, we the plant loving people of America demand that you CUT THE CRAP AND THE LIES AND LEGALIZE A PLANT THAT WILL SAVE LIVES! U.S government, it is your duty to protect and serve and instead you are dictating and harming!

This country seems to be run like a corporate business- FOR PROFIT. From a profit perspective, I see your ugly agenda. You can’t have a world filled with happy people in no pain because pain means money, i.e.: hospitals, pharmacies, and the makers of the poison that many doctors push.

Hemp has been released from the governments jail and we are becoming more accepting of CBD but- you- U.S government, are still so scared of THC. Alcohol can turn into “drunk” and pills can turn into an “opioid high”, which both alter the mind, body movements, and voice.

Are you against Cannabis THC because THC helps broaden perception and perspective and you don’t want free thinking people? Too scared that society will connect and see through your tom foolery?

Final Thoughts

You- U.S government say that THC is habit forming and therefore bad- yet, morphine is legal and used. You say that THC is a narcotic and therefore illegal- yet, Percocet/Oxy are legal and used. To me, the bigger lie is that the drugs above are schedule II- meaning they have medicinal value. THC- schedule I- meaning no medicinal value- I call B.S! And I am not the only one.


National Expungement Week: Re-Entry, Repair, Healing


by Veronica Castillo

Photo Credit: PR Newswire

Last week was National Expungement Week: Sept 19- Sept 26, and it was the third annual week of awareness to the 77 million Americans with criminal records.  Though awareness is highlighted with events, clinics, workshops, and food pantries during this week, founder of National Expungement Week- Latorie Marshall says:

Our year-round work never stops, and we are determined to use this week to inspire communities to take action, clear records, and restore the rights of some of the 77 million justice-impacted people in the U.S”.

National Expungement Week, also known as N.E.W, is led by people of color, supported by Cage-Free Repair, and working within the community through a group of grassroots community organizers and advocates. We need them! I often write about the injustice within the system and how those injustices target certain groups. 

N.E.W steps in and fights for the people by way of offering relief clinics and leading discussions and healing sessions that provide access, relief, equity and opportunity, to the communities negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. Not just Cannabis, but the War on Drugs as a whole:

We advocate for automated expungement of all records, the de-escalation of police enforcement, and investment in marginalized communities.”

Thank goodness for this organization and the others that consistently fight for the rights of those targeted and impacted by the War on Drugs. A war that led to the creation of an agency that has caused more harm than good. I’m speaking of the D.E.A. 

N.E.W is all about spreading awareness and isn’t seeking to be the only organization out here fighting. Collaboration is how we win and so, check out what N.E.W has to say about how helping push awareness to the mission:

We want to make this accessible for everyone, so we put together a toolkit to help guide you through the process from beginning to end. Events don’t need to be limited to National Expungement Week, we urge you to make it happen year-round, as there is much work to be done and many lives waiting to be repaired”.

The American Flag and its Hemp History

by Brittiany Ralls

Stars and Stripes, the Star Spangled Banner, and Old Glory is what our great American flag has been called on numerous occasions. There is so much symbolism in our flag. Most Americans know that the stars stand for the 50 states, the 13 stripes are for the original colonies and most remember that the colors represent something, not sure what really. Can’t say I remember them all myself. But, hey this is what we have historians and the internet for. Hardiness, valor, purity, innocence, vigilance, perseverance, and justice. Quite a list to live up to, if I do say so myself. Since I am a lover of all things cannabis I did know that some historians speculate that the original flag for America was made of hemp. By original I mean, the flag that most of us think of, the 13 stars and 13 stripes, for all you history buffs out there. Not the british union version.

Learning about how much cannabis is tied to our history fuels my desire to learn more.


In May of 1776 it is said, by historians, that Besty Ross was commissioned to sew the first American flag. There is no documentation to prove who designed or sewed the first flag. Conclusions historians have come to are based on correspondence between political figures and their family members from a long line of stories told. In fact most of the story about the first American flag wasn’t even brought to the attention of the public until about 100 years later. It is also said that the first flag was made of hemp but there is no documentation to prove that either. Some speculate that it was made of hemp based on the facts that farming industrial hemp at the time was encouraged by the government, and quite a few products were made with hemp at the time primarily for its durability. Knowing how a flag may have to withstand adverse weather conditions leaves some believing that it is very possible that the original American flag was made of hemp. There are no remnants of the original flag so we can’t know for sure.

American Flag

It has been said that history has a way of repeating itself. Marking a new time within our nation’s history. In 2013, and in 2015 there was a hemp made American flag flown over the nation’s capital. The first time for the Fourth of July and the second time for Veteran’s Day. If history does repeat itself then we can almost be sure that a hemp American flag has been flown at some point within our history before the 21st century. As I celebrated this past Fourth of July I thought of the impact cannabis has made on our history and I look forward to the upcoming changes that I think we will see in the near future.

Including, maybe a period in time when all are American flags are made of hemp and I will be writing about a time when they weren’t.

Each Presidential Candidates Stance on Cannabis

Just in time for Super Tuesday, here’s an overview of the presidential candidate’s stances on federal Cannabis legalization.

After all, this green plant holds a very dear place in our hearts and the hearts of over 30 other states. So, before you hit the polls tomorrow make sure you check out our list below!


Republican Candidates

(Incumbent) Donald Trump

The president has made it clear in the past month that he is against legalizing cannabis on a federal level.  The Trump Administration has proposed removing medical marijuana protections in the 2021 fiscal budget. This means that the federal government would again have funding to arrest, fine, or harass state medical marijuana agencies and patients.

“I think what the president is looking at is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent — of a parent of a young person — to make sure that we keep our kids away from drugs,” Mr. Lotter, the director of strategic communications for the Trump 2020 campaign. “They need to be kept illegal. That is the federal policy.”


Bill Weld 

Bill Weld is on the board of directors for the Cannabis investment firm Acreage Holdings, so it is fair to say he has a personal stake in the legalization of Cannabis. Recently, Weld endorsed the STATES Act, calling the bill to end federal prohibition, “his favorite piece of legislation that is on the Hill right now.”

Democratic Candidates

Joe Biden 

Joe Biden’s opposition to the legalization of Marijuana has been made very well known even before his bid for the race. Biden recently gave an interview to the New York Times editorial board where he stated that Cannabis should not be legalized without more studies.

” I think science matters,” he stated. ” I mean one of the reasons I’m running against the guy I’m running against is science matters, not fiction.”




Michael Bloomberg

Mike Bloomberg does not support the federal legalization of Cannabis, in fact, history has shown him to tout quite an anti-marijuana rhetoric. On the topic of Marijuana law reform, he had this to say,

“We have a different kind of problem in America, for example. Last year, in 2017, 72,000 Americans [overdosed] on drugs. In 2018, more people than that are OD-ing on drugs, have OD’d on drugs. And today, incidentally, we are trying to legalize another addictive narcotic, which is perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done.




Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard is very much for Cannabis legalization on a federal level. In a statement made in her  formal campaign launch speech, she made this clear by criticizing a criminal justice system that,

 “puts people in prison for smoking marijuana while allowing corporations like Purdue Pharma, who are responsible for the opioid-related deaths of thousands of people, to walk away scot-free with their coffers full.”




Bernie Sanders 

Bernie Sanders is on the side on Cannabis legalization so much that he has promised legal Marijuana to all 50 states on day 1 of his presidency if he were to be elected.

“We will end the destructive war on drugs,”  Sander said at a rally in Ceder Rapids  “On my first day in office through executive order we will legalize marijuana in every state in this country.”



Elizabeth Warren 

Elizabeth Warren is very much for the legalization of Cannabis. Her campaign website has a lengthy page dedicated to all of her beliefs on why Marijuana needs to be federally legal.  She even states,”

“For four decades, we’ve subscribed to a “War on Drugs” theory of crime, which has criminalized addiction, ripped apart families—and failed to curb drug use. Legalizing marijuana and erasing past convictions won’t fully end the War on Drugs or address its painful legacy, but it’s a needed step in the right direction.”