TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) – House Bill 2612 nicknamed the Unity Bill made it out of the House on Friday and on Tuesday out of the Senate Rules Committee.
The Unity Bill would essentially be a set of rules for medical marijuana in Oklahoma.
788 activists said this is not what the people voted for last June.
Since that time, Flowercraft Co. has come to life for Shawn Jenkins. He’s gone through many hurdles to get his medical marijuana business up and running.
“All we would like is to be treated like any other legally established business because that’s what we are,” he said.
He said the Unity Bill would limit their rights.
“I see this as just a blatant overstep and overreach of government,” said Jenkins. “Even if you aren’t supportive of medical cannabis, if you’re supportive of liberty and freedom, you should be outraged today.”
The bill would set up new guidelines for advertising, inspections, inventory, packaging and labeling.
“The bill itself is actually trying to go against the will of the voting people,” said John Baldwin, the CFO of Flowercraft Co.
He said it will also allow cities to increase taxes, which trickles down to the patients.
“We are trying to make certain that all of the patients have access to medical marijuana and right now this Unity Bill is restricting that in many ways,” he said.
As Jenkins’ company expands, more people like Lisa Bowman are joining his team. She’s also on the board of the Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma.
“We knew that the time would come when we would have to rise up and protect the spirit of 788 and now that time has come,” she said.
Moving forward she said that’s exactly what they’ll do.
“People do need to keep paying attention,” she said. “Just because 788 passed there’s still a lot of work to do. This is when we really need to be vigilant and keep our eyes on what our legislatures are doing at the Capitol. There are some other bills that are going to try to get pushed through that are terrible for the patients.”
Jenkins said he would rather legislators be working to create new banking laws to keep businesses and patients safer.
“I would implore that actually our legislatures and Governor Stitt as well to get in this situation and look at medical cannabis as something that’s legal, the people voted for and actually protect us, the patients and business owners trying to do something legitimate in this state.”
The Unity Bill will now head to the Senate floor for a vote. It’s scheduled to be heard on Thursday but it could be pushed back.