Beef Buzz News
Cattle Producers to Talk Rules and Regulations On Marijuana Production in Oklahoma
Thu, 15 Jul 2021 11:50:29 CDT
Medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, and production for this segment of the industry has grown exponentially.
Michael Kelsey, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, says OCA leadership as well as other ag organizations are concerned with the rapid growth the issues that have risen from production relating to farmers and ranchers.
“I would say I have had more input from OCA members on marijuana than any other issue in my 25-year career in association work,” Kelsey said. “This is a major concern issue for OCA members and Oklahoma agriculture in general.”
Kelsey said their appointed task force has done a wonderful job, and at this point they have four draft policies that have approximately 16 different points to address. That is how far reaching this issue is, he added.
It is like the issue keeps getting more and more complex as more of it is undertaken, Kelsey said, and it is all relative to cattle producers.
It started out with the issue of spray drift, specifically access to property and herbicide application, Kelsey said. But, as time has gone on, more questions have come to light leading to more issues and the challenge of seeing different perspectives, he said.
Some additional potential issues before the association leadership is rural utilities, road construction, and even abandonment.
Kelsey said if recreational marijuana was hypothetically legalized on the federal level, logic would tell you operations were moved to the people for two reasons: that is where people are, and labor.
Most of the labor seen in Oklahoma operations are not natives of the state, Kelsey mentioned. He then posed the question, why bring the labor in when you could go to the labor?
What this sets up is the potential for grow facilities to be abandoned, he said. There is no action in place to designate what would happen in such cases, and this itself shows the importance of getting answers for all of these scenarios, Kelsey said.
“I anticipate a lot of discussion on marijuana at our upcoming meeting,” Kelsey said. “I would have never thought we would have this type of discussion over this issue in my career, but here we are.”
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