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Oklahoma collected more medical marijuana tax last month than ever before

Oklahoma City-based dispensary Fire Leaf is handing out 1,500 free box lunches across the metro area. [PROVIDED]
Oklahoma City-based dispensary Fire Leaf is handing out 1,500 free box lunches across the metro area. [PROVIDED]

Tax collections from Oklahoma's medical marijuana industry set a record high in March.

Cannabis dispensaries generated $7.8 million in total tax revenues last month, according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. It's the highest total since the first tax dollars were reported in November 2018.

The total consists of the 7% medical marijuana tax assessed on all medical marijuana sales, as well as any state or local sales taxes. Both categories saw increases for the month.

The relatively steady growth in marijuana tax revenue suggests the industry still has room to expand after a year and a half of operation.

That growth has slowed, however. A year ago, monthly collections saw exponential growth as more dispensaries came online throughout the state.

"It's over-saturated in a sense, but every other day somebody else is closing their doors so that's why it's kind of hard to tell where this is going," Okie Kush Club owner Talor Reazin told The Oklahoman last month, before the bulk of coronavirus pandemic effects landed on local businesses. "I know that on the consumer side of marijuana growing, it's booming right now. You can't sell enough flower."

"Flower" is the unprocessed form of marijuana, also sometimes called "bud".

Giving back

One cannabis dispensary is giving back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fire Leaf, a dispensary with seven metro-area locations, partnered with The Yellow Rose Theatre to hand out over 1,500 free box lunches to anyone in need.

The effort began last week.

Until April 17, select Fire Leaf locations will provide free catered box lunches, prepared by The Yellow Rose Theatre, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at several of its dispensaries.

Meals will be served in drive-thru style in front of each location.

“You don’t need be a patient or even have an OMMA card to get a free lunch. If you need a meal, come get one. It’s that simple.” said Fire Leaf co-owner Tyler Doolittle.

Additionally, Fire Leaf purchased lunches for more than 100 of their employees every day for two weeks from The Yellow Rose Theatre, located in Moore. The dinner theater is also taking orders for curbside pickup while restaurant dining rooms in the state are closed.

“We are so grateful to have Fire Leaf support our theater and our mission,” said Michael Richard Cooper, owner of The Yellow Rose. “As a 501(c)3 charitable organization, it is a gift to know we will be able to supplement our business and help feed the community at the same time.”

Free lunch locations

• Wednesday: Fire Leaf, 2810 SW 104 St.

• Thursday: Fire Leaf, 1327 S Broadway, Edmond

• Friday: Fire Leaf, 9606 N May Ave., The Village

• April 16: Fire Leaf, 2501 SW 15 St.

• April 17: Fire Leaf South Western, 7876 S Western Ave.

Dale Denwalt

Dale Denwalt has closely followed state policy and politics since his first internship as an Oklahoma Capitol reporter in 2006. He graduated from Northeastern State University in his hometown of Tahlequah. Denwalt worked as a news reporter in... Read more ›

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