It's time to pass the OMMA director pipe... again.
In an effort to prove true the stereotype that you can't count on potheads to get the job done, the OMMA announced yesterday they have hired yet another new Executive Director to lead the agency.
This time around that person is Adria Berry. Plucked straight from the Oklahoma ruling class and establishment farm system, she's spent the last year or so working for the Oklahoma Petroleum Alliance. Before that, she worked as a legal mercenary for the State Chamber while they embarked on their comical campaign to defeat SQ 788.
Remember those ads?
Geeze, talk about false advertising! I still haven't seen anyone smoke weed in a restaurant, and outside of the time I smoked a joint with some people overlooking the Bricktown Canal, in public either.
In addition to that, there hasn't been one cool college kid who grew 12 pounds of weed in his dorm room offer to sell it to me at a discount on the black market. It's almost like the State Chamber-backed campaign against SQ 788 was built on baseless fears, lies and paranoia.
If you read the pot leaves, and stems, on this news, the logical conclusion would be that Stitt and the decision-makers at the Oklahoma Department of Health placed Berry in the OMMA position so they can finish up their work sabotaging SQ 788, and implement their own heavy-handed rules for the industry, such as limiting the number of dispensaries and grow operations, restrictive zoning measures, and who knows, maybe even requiring a pharmacist in dispensaries.
The timing, and language, of the announcement would seem to suggest that.
Over the past couple of months, the Oklahoma Ruling Class Establishment and their allies at the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics have been cracking down on both legal and black-market grow operations, feeding the media terrifying tales of Chinese-backed farms staffed with slave laborers clogging up the rural countryside like abandoned oil wells, building a narrative that the marijuana industry is dangerous, out of control, and needs a good set of sanctimonious regulations to bring it into order.
In all fairness, there are truthful elements to that narrative. Just like in other states that have legalized the herb, the black market in Oklahoma is thriving. A good chunk of the weed grown in the state is sold out of state, while a lot of the THC products you'll find at dispensaries are produced out of state. It's even hard for dispensary owners to figure out if what they're buying is legit or not, and even harder for them to figure out how to launder the cash they make from selling it! Let's be honest – there are only so many new clubs and event centers the city can handle.
All that being said, if the ruling class is looking for a person to help crack down on things, Berry seems like the best person for the job! She's written quite a few editorials against SQ 788 that would make any square proud.
For example, she opened this Tulsa World editorial with the statement "SQ 788 is problematic for many reasons." I guess it wasn't too problematic for her to take the OMMA job, though.
By permitting anyone with any medical condition to receive a medical marijuana license allowing them to possess and grow a large amount of marijuana, we are opening up our state to a largely unregulated young industry. Some level of regulation and quality control is necessary when dealing with medicine — prescription or not. Why should medical marijuana be treated differently?
Wow. I bet after Governor Stitt read that his first words were "Pass the A-1 sauce and hire this woman!"
Even though she was all aboard the anti-SQ 788 train, some Ogle Moles in the marijuana industry are telling me that Berry's a really nice, cool and friendly liberal person, that the rhetoric she penned as an employee for the State Chamber doesn't reflect her personal views and feelings on marijuana, and that she'll do a good job leading the agency.
Maybe that's the case and Berry is cool and chill like a dose of Bubba Kush and will let the free market and industry do its thing, or maybe she's just a mercenary for the ruling class and ready to do their bidding. I think the only thing we know for sure is that, based on history, the OMMA will probably have a new executive director in a year or so. Once again, it's hard to count on a pothead to finish the