by Chip Paul
Some of you are old enough to recall the effort that Austin TX started maybe 20 or 25 years ago. Austin made a very conscious effort to become the hub of the next Silicon Valley. They created State incentives, they started research, they started University level programs. They attracted the first wave of tech companies. The first wave of tech companies then brought the second wave of tech companies. And now they have major opportunities, like Tesla, which they have landed.
In Oklahoma, how do we compete? What advantageous situation do we have that we can capitalize on? Well, if you see it, certainly medical marijuana. We have the most unique and open medical program in the country and we have a research license written into our law. What about hemp? We certainly have an opportunity to lead there. Plant-based molecules, which is what we at GnuPharma do, are advancing scientifically, and we have a whole new wave of therapeutics based on hallucinogens headed our way. Is Oklahoma very uniquely positioned to attract a new wave of pharma companies? Pharma companies that base their science on safe plant-based medicines?
I certainly think so. Many of you also are thinking this way. Many of us believe that the majority of pharma will, over the coming years, trend toward these safe alternatives. Pharma of today has a place, but that place really is in acute and critical care. If I get run over by a truck, give me my morphine. However, for a headache, or an allergy, or minor inflammation, there are effective natural products and cannabis solutions that can be administered without safety concerns. Pharma is and will continue to trend toward natural products, meaning plant-based molecules. They work, sometimes better than pharma, and have a high degree of safety.
So what do we do? Well, we are currently socializing an effort to look at attracting these companies. I do not know exactly what that effort will look like yet. It will take shape based on what we want to start with and who we want to approach. I do know that both the Lt. Governor’s office and the Secretary of Commerce offices are both willing to at least scratch the surface and see what we can do.
We have come a long way in two years! Let’s continue to press the advantage Oklahoma has with marijuana and extend that advantage. Sound like a plan? If so, you can join the non-profit efforts at www.ok4uapproved.com and watch for a newer non-profit to emerge.