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Oklahoma ranks as fastest growing marijuana market in the country

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(KTUL)

Some were surprised when Oklahoma voted to legalize medical marijuana.

Just about everyone was surprised when we became the hottest market in the nation.

"We thought that there would be a high adoption rate. We didn't think it would be this high, but it makes sense," said Taras Filenko with Seed Cannabis Co. Dispensary at 6th and Peoria.

Filenko got into the marijuana business early.

He says what started as a political issue quickly changed once it was legalized.

"I don't think it's a conservative versus liberal issue. It's a health issue. When you take a look at the pros and cons of medical cannabis, you can see that there's a clear value," he said.

In south Tulsa, Jazimine Ayres with Green Country Bud says part of why Oklahoma has so strongly embraced medical marijuana is the opioid crisis.

"There are so many people out there addicted to opioid that struggle with different prescription medications which wind up damaging your liver and your daily function," said Ayres.

Medical marijuana, she says, is a natural alternative.

With more and more dispensaries opening up all the time, these businesses have to make themselves stand out to survive. Her tactic is education.

"My main target with each person who walks through the door is that I want to get to know them, I want to know what they are seeking to target, what benefits they are looking for, and I'd like to educate them on products that would be more beneficial," she said.

Back at Seed, education is part of their tactic, as well as a showroom that mimics a tech store. And they do it all.

"We're a fully vertical operation. We're going to have a boutique farm, we'll have some extraction capabilities, and then we're going to focus on the retail atmosphere," said Filenko.

Both agree, having a well formed business plan is the key to survival.

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