At Smokey Okies headquarters, we cherish the freedom we have in Oklahoma to grow good weed… and be free! Yes, we do have to file reports and submit lots of paper work to the government, and of course file taxes and pay way more than we should, but at least we are free to run our business how we see fit. We answer to our customers and to our patients and that is it when it comes to running the business.
But not every cultivator has our freedoms and what is sad is that most of the legal market is dominated by States that have implemented arbitrary limitations on the number of businesses that can receive a cultivation license.
Patients and customers will always benefit more from Free Cannabis markets, like Oklahoma, than in limited-license markets
In a free market, anyone can start a cannabis business. Which means running the business cannot be taken for granted. With never ending amounts of competition, a cannabis business will only succeed if it has great operations, treats its customers right, and is transparent about its products and services.
On the other hand, in markets where the government limits the amount of licenses, the cannabis companies that are lucky enough (or well connected enough) to “win” a license don’t exactly have to follow the rules of customer service, because the competition is limited. Without having to worry about another business coming along, and doing everything even better, the existing licensed businesses can merely “coast,” not having to improve operations, services, and products year after year.
It is precisely because of Oklahoma’s free market system that it will eventually become notable for not just its friendly regulatory atmosphere, but also is blossoming cannabis culture. Because if all the artists are free to create their art, how could this place not become the cannabis utopia it was destined to be?
Comparing Oklahoma’s free market to Missouri’s limited-license market
Currently, the State of Missouri has chosen to award only a limited number of licenses to, what appears to be, primarily multi-state operators. There are several notable lawsuits currently underway in Missouri that involve local families demanding answers as to why their applications were denied.
The biggest reason for choosing a free-market system over a limited-license system is the fairness of it all. Who gets to decide who gets a chance to play the game? It simply is not fair to put that power in the hands of politicians and regulators, who know nothing about cannabis — and to be frank, nothing about running a business either.So then who decides? YOU! The People! In a free market, all decisions are made by the people involved, not by the government standing on the sidelines.
In a free market….
Who decides whether to start a cannabis business? The entrepreneur decides, after figuring out where to get capital, learning operations, and putting together a sales and marketing strategy.
Where does the patient/customer decide to purchase his/her cannabis from? Any one of the many, many retail outlets. You decide based on location, commute, price, product selection, service, and trust. Therefore, the customer benefits from having many, many stores to choose from. More options, more freedom, more satisfied shopping experiences!
What brands do you decide to purchase? Or what brands should a retailer carry? In a free market, there are so many brands, the choices are numerous. More choice = more freedom.
In a limited-license market…
The entrepreneur must first get awarded a license by the government. This is basically a lottery system. So just because you want to get in the business, does not mean you can, no matter how well thought out your plans.
The customer may shop at any of the stores that won licenses, but because of the lottery system, there will be less stores to choose from. And the stores that do exist are basically grandfathered into a government arbitrage, and do not have to worry about endless competition.
The number of products and brands are limited, because the number of producers are limited.
In a limited license system, out of state brands will have to license operations from an existing operator. So you may see the brands on the shelf, but they were all grown or processed by the same guy, he just stuck a different label on each jar.
That is not transparency. That is not freedom. That is the government treating you and everyone else as if we are not capable of making these decisions on our own and we need the government to “stabilize” the market for us. This is not what is best for us. This is what makes business very easy and very profitable for the chosen few that are “awarded” licenses in a limited-license market.
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