CBD store owner provides unique perspective on medical marijuana debate

OKLAHOMA CITY - As the state of Oklahoma nears the medical marijuana vote - a tale of two perspectives.

One of them is a doctor and state senator who supports medical marijuana but not State Question 788. The other is the owner of a CBD store who said he will vote yes but there is a twist.

EJ Bancroft sells CBD products at his CannaHealth of Oklahoma stores. He said he will be voting for SQ 788 and will sell some of the products it legalizes.

However, he said you'll never see smokable marijuana on his shelves.

"There's nothing you can get from smoking pot that you can't get from any of these products," Bancroft said.

He said, when a person smokes marijuana, the effect is more psychoactive than medicinal.

He said that's because the consumer gets higher levels of THC than CBD due to the simplicity of its processing as compared to that of infused products.

"There's no extraction processes, quality control, anything like that," Bancroft said. "You just cut it from the plant, stick it in a jar and sell it to the end user."

Bancroft said he thinks SQ 788 is too vague in terms of regulations but will still vote yes on Tuesday in hopes more regulations will be added.

"It's not like we're going to vote it in tomorrow and, the next day, everybody's walking the streets smoking a joint," he said. "It's not going to work that way."

Senator Ervin Yen, who is a doctor, authored a bill in the past to legalize medical marijuana and the bill that legalized CBD, but he is voting no on SQ 788.

"I'm for CBD and medical marijuana," Yen said. "That's why I wrote a medical marijuana bill two years ago, but I'm absolutely opposed to 788 because it's not medical."

Yen also has concerns with the regulations. He believes the specifications on which physicians can prescribe it are too vague and thinks there need to be specific qualifying conditions for the use of the drug.

"It needs to be treated like any other drugs that doctors prescribe," Yen said.

Bancroft said, come Tuesday, his vote is still yes.

"There's always going to be a reason to not vote it in, so it's now or never," he said.

In reference to the regulations they have concerns over, there are plans in the works to address them.

Bud Scott, the director of New Health Solutions of Oklahoma, which funds the 'Yes on 788 Campaign,' said the organization has prepared more than 300 pages of proposed regulations if the state question passes.

Governor Fallin also said she expects to call lawmakers back for a special session if it passes.