Who is to Blame?
With the release of our article showing the colossal issue in the Oklahoma Cannabis market, a lot of people are left wondering “who is to blame”? The approach OMMA seems to be taking is to try and make Moon Mix a scapegoat before due process has it’s day. Did Moon Mix put out product rendered unsafe due to high levels of pesticides? It certainly appears so. Did they do so knowingly? Possibly. OMMA did the right thing by issuing a product recall to protect patients while the truth is discerned. However, OMMA making Moon Mix out to be a bad actor is unethical until the end of the administrative license revocation process. Oklahoma statute requires, if OMMA believes they have evidence of misconduct, to start a license revocation action. At an administrative hearing, Moon Mix will have a chance to present evidence at the hearing and defend themselves with evidence. That is due process. That is what this nation agreed the government would afford all citizens.
If Moon Mix put tainted product out unknowingly should they be punished? We would say no and here is why. Moon Mix used a lab they purportedly trusted. OMMA told license holders they did not have to test with a licensed lab until July 1 in contradiction of Oklahoma Statutory requirements. This is revealed in our article. OMMA failed to supervise the licensed laboratories with 16 of the state’s 17 licensed labs reporting statistically impossible failure rates. How would Moon Mix know they could not trust the lab results from laboratories the state is supposed to make sure meet minimum standards? This begs the question, is OMMA to blame?
OMMA was given an impossible task to regulate an industry that literally popped up overnight. There have been numerous companies that have struggled to survive the past couple of years despite having the best and brightest in the industry at the helm of these companies along with adequate capitalization. The cannabis industry is a hyper competitive industry where only the strong survive. While a large portion of the industry’s brightest are in the private sector where they can make more money, a few are at OMMA where they took significant pay cuts to try and do the public good. Public servants, like Laboratory Program Oversight Manager Lee Rhoades, have been trying every day to bring order to the wild west that is Oklahoma’s Cannabis Industry. If most of the brightest are struggling to operate a successful company, is it fair to expect OMMA to set up an organization to regulate every company in the same amount of time it takes these companies to work through their kinks? This is why heavily regulated industries such as cannabis are usually set up over several years with industry input before they ever go live to keep from the growing pains we have experienced. So is it the legislature’s fault?
It would be easy to target the Oklahoma legislature for not being responsive to the will of the people and forcing them to pass a citizens initiative which led to the wild west atmosphere. Do legislatures deserve some of the blame? Probably. However, they were elected by the people. Should the people who passed 788, have been more active in politics, instead of coming out in force for a one issue vote? Absolutely. As you can see we are all to blame for the issue so it only serves to waste time and energy pointing out blame. We all need to work together to learn the truth and then come up with a solution together! If we want to step into the light as an industry we need to quit pointing fingers and work together with OMMA to come up with a solution that ensures ALL PATIENTS IN OKLAHOMA RECEIVE SAFE MEDICATION FOR THEIR HEALTH PROBLEMS. Please continue to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will take all the industry’s suggestions to OMMA to protect our patients.