A Tipping Point for Cannabis in the United States?

By Jim Marty, CPA/ABV MS

Early last Wednesday morning, my phone lit up with calls from Oklahoma attorneys, accountants, and other interested parties who wanted to speak me about the results of Tuesday’s Oklahoma primary elections.  A very liberal medical marijuana bill had passed in the state primary election.  Not only was this the first cannabis referendum to be included on a primary ballot, but it won by a surprising 14 percent.  The win was despite heavily funded adversaries and the opposition of the Oklahoma Governor, Mary Fallin.

In my opinion, it was a liberal referendum because the diseases that qualify to be a medical marijuana patient in Oklahoma is one of the broadest in the county.  Doctors in Oklahoma can prescribe cannabis for just about any ailment.

This makes conservative Oklahoma the 30th state in the union to have a medical marijuana program.  Is this a tipping point?

Also last week, the U.S. Senate passed the 2018 Farm Bill that included provisions to legalize hemp at the Federal level.

“Hemp will be a bright spot for our future. It’s full of economic potential for Kentucky, and the nation. So, Mr. President, we should pass the Farm Bill without delay,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, in a speech on the Senate floor.

Hemp legalization is now heading to the House of Representatives where it is included in their Farm Bill.  The two Farm Bills will be reconciled in a joint Congressional conference before being delivered to the President’s desk to be either signed or vetoed by September 30th.

As legend Bob Dylan famously sang in 1964, “The Times They Are a-Changin’”