OKLAHOMA CITY—Five Oklahoma agriculture groups have formed a task force to develop solutions to the issues facing farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses from the exponential growth of the medical marijuana industry across Oklahoma.
The Medical Marijuana Impacts on Oklahoma Production Agriculture Task Force—comprised of American Farmers & Ranchers Cooperative (AFR), Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers Association, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council and Oklahoma Farm Bureau—was created to focus on crafting state and federal solutions to the increasing impacts of medical marijuana on production agriculture across Oklahoma.
The task force will review the variety of challenges confronting Oklahoma agriculture and work together to provide policy recommendations to state and federal leaders.
The statewide organizations plan to engage the task force with key stakeholders including other state agriculture organizations, public and private utility providers, members of the Oklahoma Legislature and congressional delegation, and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
Statements from the organizations are listed below.
“Many farmers and ranchers have expressed a growing number of issues in their community stemming from the medical marijuana industry. These challenging issues include inflated land values, overwhelming stress to rural water and electric infrastructure, interruptions to critical fertilizer and pesticide applications, and many more.” – Michael Kelsey, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association executive vice president
“This new task force is designed to foster an opportunity for open dialogue between the leaders of our industry. We will review these ballooning issues and develop recommendations for our state and federal leaders.” – Adam Wood, Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers Association board chairman
“The Medical Marijuana Impacts on Oklahoma Production Agriculture Task Force represents thousands of agricultural producers across the state. As we respond to the mounting problems the medical marijuana industry is presenting to Oklahoma production agriculture, task force members recognize the immediate need to find solutions. We know the issues are not hypothetical; they’re affecting farmers and ranchers today.” – Scott Blubaugh, AFR Cooperative president
“We look forward to working together to discover and encourage implementation of appropriate solutions. Some common-sense approaches will help manage the disruption impacting Oklahoma farmers, ranchers, cooperatives, and agribusiness.” – Audrey Hofferber, Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council board chair
“Many of our farm and ranch members have shared a variety of challenges that are facing their farms, ranches and communities due to the rapid increase in medical marijuana production in Oklahoma. Farm Bureau is pleased to continue working side by side with our fellow ag organizations to collaboratively find solutions that benefit farmers, ranchers and all Oklahomans.” – Rodd Moesel, Oklahoma Farm Bureau president
“The challenges for Oklahoma’s agriculture producers that have come with the introduction of the medical marijuana industry in our state are numerous. We hear from producers from all areas of Oklahoma that are dealing with the variety of impacts medical marijuana grow facilities are having on their livelihoods and day to day operations. As we continue the discussion to identify answers to these challenges, I appreciate the insight I anticipate this Task Force will provide and the momentum toward solutions it brings.” – Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture