Leading MMB Attorney, Ron Durbin is urging formation of cooperative associations for growers, processors, & dispensaries. He expressed those sentiments last night at the Oklahoma Legislative Town Hall on Marijuana Policy.
Durbin says that these business entities are not represented at the capitol and the result is bad laws & rules, which end up costing businesses more than what an effective lobbyist would cost.
Perhaps a statewide association is more than what could be built in a cooperative format, but county associations are certainly doable in a workable format. Dispensaries may want to also form in a similar manner, especially in the bigger cities. A series of local developments like this would easily foster better cooperative relationships with county and city officials. Agencies tasked with implementing state policy can then call together the members of the voluntary business associations and discuss what's coming, or inquire what adjustments the industry members want the county commissioners to consider.
The City of Wagoner, Oklahoma is seeking to become the Medical Marijuana Capitol of the southern plains. They will need this kind of industry association in order to fully realize their goal. Growers can discuss strains, growing schedules, and common knowledge of how to deal with local pests, diseases, & climate issues.
Ron Durbin is right!
If growers don't work with local govt. with a united voice, local regulations will choke them out individually.
If growers don't talk to each other, market prices will be less stable, because they may not produce enough of any particular strain to properly meet demands. Or they may all end up growing the same strain on a similar harvesting schedule, causing an over-supply and a drop in the prices.
Don't wait for professional organizers to do this for you. Ron Durbin has come to realize he can't implement all his own great ideas. He's too busy filing legal documents and demand letters on behalf of specific clients who face govt overreach actions.
And many growers were shocked when a particular lobby group assessed a $35,000 membership fee, to join.
Durbin hasn't even been able to keep a regular schedule of Saturday workshops where he teaches auditoriums full of MMBs how to avoid most of the legal problems in the first place. He says his $195 day-long conferences are the best investment a grower can make in having a successful enterprise.
No sir!, businesses need to create their own cooperative associations with dues, elections, monthly meetings, and capability to present a positive public image to communities and govt. entities.
Once those entities get established, they can collaborate with other county MMB associations to form a statewide entity which best deals with the lawmakers and agencies.
Last night, several of the sharpest & most impactful Oklahomans in the medical marijuana industry were together in one room. It was the Oklahoma Town Hall on Medical Marijuana. Chip Paul of Oklahomans for Health, & David Van Risseghem of SoonerPolitics.org sponsored the event. Rep. Scott Fetgatter & Rep. TJ Marti presented lawmaker's initiatives, concerns, and perspectives on where Oklahoma stands and where we're going.
One farmer drove in from the panhandle to meet with several of us. He said it was a 5 hour drive. But for him, it was a priceless evening and will impact the rest of his year in so many ways. He'd love to have a group in the panhandle to meet with on a more regular basis.
Don't expect the Farm Bureau to embrace the Medical Marijuana Industry. But how did the Farm Bureau come into existence? It was probably very similar to what we're discussing in this post.