Oklahoma: where the wind comes whipping through the plains, and soon the cannabis will too. Having been to Oklahoma numerous times, I was astonished when I became aware that they had passed the most liberal medical program in the country. It was like watching a monkey walking a chicken in rain-boots!
Consider some of the not-so-wonderful statistics about the state: 1 of 4 residents is a felon; Oklahoma leads the country in incarcerating women; and it pays the lowest wages for teachers in the US. Together, along with severe marijuana laws, it means that this a very dangerous place for canna-centric peoples, places and things. Despite this, the fine people of Oklahoma took initiative and voted to legalize medical cannabis, overcoming a last-minute power play to reverse the people’s will by adding ludicrous stipulations — like requiring a licensed pharmacist in each dispensary. In the end, most of the draconian amendments did not make it, and the governor signed the decree that will allow the medicine to grow and flow.
Promoter and Hi-Tunes founder Scott McKinley put Oklahoma Hempfest together. Originally from Norman, Oklahoma, Scott invited many of the key players from Seattle Hempfest to help him put on this historic first cannabis event. The event was held at the Sheraton Midwest City, a modest event center directly across from Tinker Air Force Base. I admit running a bit of reconnaissance before pulling up. The tides of change happen fast but I’m still wary of Sgt. Stedenko holding onto the past. The coast was clear! A dual level facility, populated with Hempfest participants on each level, with Rap and Hip Hop downstairs and Progressive Rock on the bottom. Seemed like a good mix on each level and there was plenty of people talking with the vendors/exhibitors. CBD was the dominant product showcased, since it is the only cannabis product currently legal in the state, with a wide variety of products including tinctures, salves and hemp flowers.
Hemp flowers! This was a first for me. Attendees could buy hemp flowers from several vendors, and sponsor Hi-Tunes was offering a joint packaged in a doob tube with a free downloadable song, including songs from the artists that were part of the program and participating at the event. The hemp flowers are high in CBD, but negligible in THC. One vendor had a jar of it and we rolled up a big ole fatty. The dry material was exactly like the traditional cannabis I’m used to. The material rolled nice, and burned well. It had a smell and taste of the weed I first started smoking when it was transforming from brick weed to the light wispy sativas. The effect was good, and the CBD could definitely be felt. It left me melancholy and relaxed, all without making me hot for a THC screening. I showed a Hi-Tunes CBD joint to a friend who is under such a risk, and he put the tube in his pocket.
There were some tremendous featured speakers, including Connie Johnson, a pro-cannabis politician with gubernatorial aspirations, and several members of the Seattle Hempfest crew — volunteers who share their love for people via the cannabis plant. It’s quite amazing in a world of greed and selfishness, these folks are the exact opposite. Grandma Cat Jeter’s shared the story of her mission to help children had me reaching for the eye dabber. The local news showed up and interviewed Scott. There was food and libations and most of all there was cannabis talk! Hempfest to me is many things, one of them, and my favorite, is a kind place for like minded people to share ideas. We talked and joked and spun our canna-dreams large and grand!
Outside by the lake, really a glorified retention pond with big wrought iron style tables and chairs that enabled us to have a comfortable place to feed our bellies and also our heads, participants gathered around ‘sesh table.’ I noticed we all did the same thing, approached the table, gave a look to the left, look to the right, a look to someone already at the table, asking with their eyes, “we good?”
And every glance back said “Hell Yes!!!” We enjoyed the weather out back late into the night. At one point the Oklahoma City’s finest rolled through and adjacent parking lot but it was momentary and probably routine. Though to us at the time it was neither. Everyone took notice towards reality, and that what is and what shall be are currently very different things. My pulse definitely quickened as well as it should. This is a huge step for cannabis in the state however, it’s still a long way from decriminalization and national declassification. Oklahoma Hempfest is a huge step towards these.
Overall, I had an amazing time. The beautiful thing about the cannabis community is that it is welcoming and inviting. We all seem to open up and share who we are and what we are about. So, if you would like to participate and join the conversation, pull up a seat. The people I met, the information I gathered, and the messages I took away with me are all apart of my fabric now — along with two servings of chicken fried steak.
There are two more events that will finish the roll up to Oklahoma Hempfest 2019. Three events were needed due to the amazing response to the first, the one we attended. If you can make it on 4/20 or 6/7-8 -9 2019 in Oklahoma City, it would definitely be worth your while.