January 23, 2022

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Untapped resources are behind bars – The Journal Record

3 min read
According to Friday's JR / Now webinar attendees, it might be important to reach out to many experts currently incarcerated to help the cannabis industry grow and improve.  (JR screenshot)

According to Friday’s JR / Now webinar attendees, it might be important to reach out to many experts currently incarcerated to help the cannabis industry grow and improve. (JR screenshot)

While highly skilled business professionals venture into the unknown of the confusing but hugely lucrative Oklahoma cannabis market, many of the real experts in the field sit in jail and serve as punishment for building a successful cannabis business.

Leveraging this resource could help the cannabis industry grow and improve, according to panelists who attended Friday JR / Now webinar.

Tyrone Russell, president of the Cleveland School of Cannabis; Kevin Greene, vice president of the Cleveland School of Cannabis; Brian Adams, director of education, Cleveland School of Cannabis; and Sam Liebhart, CEO and founder of Vertical Acres, joined them Diary entry Interim Editor Joe Dowd for a lively discussion on what is needed now to advance Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry.

Buying products and materials in the industry is now similar to the pawn shop, where buyers and sellers negotiate the price based on their best estimate of the product’s value, Liebhart said. Industry players need to build better relationships and learn about inventory management, manufacturing and more, he said.

“There is a huge range of options and there is very little quality control,” Liebhart said. “That puts buyers and producers in a bind. … There are a lot of good actors, there are some bad actors. At the end of the day, they cause additional costs in the supply chain. “

Meanwhile, many of the state’s top cannabis connoisseurs are often behind bars to work in the cannabis industry before the law allows, and their expertise is untapped.

“One thing I would like to see in the future is that we start using people who are incarcerated or previously incarcerated for cannabis to become experts in the field as this market grows to people who may educate, educate are not fully aware of the cannabis industry, ”said Russell.

“We have big players getting into the game who have deep pockets but not a lot of cannabis training,” Russell said. “And then you locked these people behind bars with a wealth of information that has information that could help move this industry forward.”

Legal issues with cannabis have limited the amount of formal research available to determine best practices or set the markers for high quality or low quality products, Russell said.

But there is a group of people with a masters degree in product who have been involved in the product’s growth, supply chain, and sales for years – people who can determine its best features with a glance or a touch of the product. And a lot of these people are in jail, said Russell.

“If we take this industry really seriously, we’re going to start finding the experts who we’ve locked up for running super-successful companies or super-successful, knowledgeable noses that have been buying the best cannabis for so long and have been thrown away for it.”

Even in the medical industry, there are times when the consumer knows more about cannabis than the doctor who is authorized to issue a medical marijuana card, Adams said.

“Look at Oklahoma, the largest medical cannabis market in the country when you look at it on a per capita basis,” said Adams. “According to Politico, more than 360,000 Oklahomans have a medical card, but they likely went to a doctor who only has a few hours of training.”

Ideally, the industry will find a way to combine road knowledge with scientific analysis to create a curriculum for the industry, Liebhart said.

“That will allow us to make the whole thing a lot smoother,” said Greene for cannabis to be done.

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