Outgoing OKC City Councilman Shoots Middle Finger at Medical Marijuana Industry

Last week, outgoing OKC City Councilmember James Greiner – a visionary leader who spent 13 years as a graphic designer for Hobby Lobby, and now works in marketing for Paycom – quietly sent a memo to Mayor Holt and the city council announcing that he would be introducing a heavy-handed anti-medical marijuana ordinance at today’s OKC city council meeting.

If the ordinance is somehow adopted – which feels like a big “if” – it would have huge implications on the medical marijuana industry in our city.

Check out some of the bizarre details ripped straight from Greiner’s proposal:

I guess some of that is semi-reasonable. Dispensaries and grow facilities should probably have decent ventilation systems. And even though most dispensaries have better security video systems than Ft. Knox, I guess surveillance systems should also be mandatory so we can get a better look at the burglars robbing them on the local news.

That being said, what reggie ditch weed is this tool smoking?

First of all, he wants to prohibit dispensary drive-thrus? Why? Last week, I literally went through drive-thrus at CVS to get amphetamines, Likewise to get cannabis, and On-Cue to get alcohol. At last check, nobody was harmed while I ran these errands that were 100% legal under state law.

Also, what’s up with the proposed requirement that there be 1,000 feet between dispensaries??? Is he trying to sabotage the real estate market on NW 23rd, S. Western and anywhere in Guthrie? Ironically enough, it would turn the “Medical Marijuana Green Mile” of OKC – N. May Ave. between N.W. 63rd and Britton – into the vast wasteland medical marijuana opponents predicted it would become if medical marijuana became legalized.

Anyway, I’ve include links to the memo and proposed ordinance below.

If anything, this feels like a parting gift “F*ck you” from Greiner – a guy who spent 13 years designing “50% off Frames!” posters – and his conservative allies, who want to be dicks and limit your access to a legal medicine simply because it doesn’t fit in their rigid, hypocritical beliefs and moral code.

And if there is a vote on it, I’m honestly not sure it would pass. 63% of voters in Oklahoma County voted yes on SQ 788, and I really doubt Holt and the ruling class wants to fire them up like a fatty. The medical marijuana industry has not only grown in size, but in money and power, too. Maybe that could be why the local ruling class is so against medical marijuana?



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39 Responses

  1. I actually support the 1,000 foot measure.
    The “Green Mile”, as you put it, used to have a healthy distribution of businesses.
    Now, it has mostly dispensaries. It’s ridiculous. Yes, sure, the dispensaries took over businesses that were not succeeding, but there’s just an absurd quantity of them. Even at 1,000 feet apart, there would still be *way* too many.

    That having been said, this kind of zoning ordinance needed to be done *before* the owners of these small businesses went insane with opening locations.

    1. The market should dictate what is considered an “absurd” quantity of dispensaries, not politicians or internet commenters.

      1. I don’t disagree, but many, many industries have been regulated as such by zoning ordinance. It’s kind of a tradition.

        Another point — I don’t think it’s appropriate for there to be more dispensaries than, say, convenience stores. And at this point, I think there’s literally three or four times as many on said Green Mile.

        Zoning rules are how voters control how their city grows.

        1. On zoning matters, money usually talks much louder than voters. And when was the last time voters got to decide a zoning question?

          Let’s not regulate businesses based on someone’s opinion of what isn’t “appropriate.”

          1. so you’re ok with a gun shop or a strip club/sex shop next to an elementary school?
            that’s what zoning attempts to manage.

            1. This is Oklahoma? What’s wrong with gun shops next to an elementary school?

            2. Isn’t that the way it is in Houston? No zoning whatsoever? And that city, until it gets submerged in a few short decades, doesn’t seem to be collapsing.

          2. and no I am not in favor of what this councilman is proposing.

        2. the market & the strong will decide what is “appropriate”…time will sort out this “problem” chill

          1. AKA Denver.

        3. Is there something limiting the amount of gas stations on May? What about fast food restaurants? There is an insane amount of dispensaries on that strip on May but they won’t all last so swing by one on your way home from work, get some good flower, toke it up and chillax

      2. Excellent. Let the market weed itself.

      3. I think there’s an absurd amount of churches on N. Kelly north from 36th all the way past Wilshire. Maybe an ordinance for a 1000′ spacing requirement for Jesus shops?
        In general, I don’t know anything about May Ave above 63rd, as I tend to get a nosebleed when I head that far north.

        1. There are at least 7 churches in less than a mile from me, only 4 dispensaries. I say we need more dispensaries.

      4. Because pot growers are technically just farmers, I’m wondering when pot “subsidies” will begin. Pot farmers need subsidies so they can continue to overproduce at astounding rates that only exports to China will cure. Then politicians can flood pot farmers with billions in cash subsidies/bribes just prior to election time.

      5. I agree, and my first thought is that the market place will take care of that. The sheer numbers of dispensaries is probably insupportable, and will eventually reduce to a reasonable number. And the marketplace will dictate that putting them side by side is not the best business decision.

    2. I feel like shopping centers have gone through these phases a lot. Once they were vape shops, then CBD, now dispensaries, and eventually they’ll be overtaken by the next fad business.

      There doesn’t need to be a law mandating what will happen in a few years on it’s own anyways.

    3. Do you think that the weed shops PUT those other businesses out? That they somehow caused them to not renew their leases?

      One of two things happened. Either those businesses went out on THEIR OWN, meaning the weed shops are there in lieu of VACANT PROPERTIES (which increase crimes in the area, look like shit, lower property values) or they increased the rent of the OTHER businesses by creating more demand, increasing the property values.

      Your entire assessment shows that you know fuckall about business.

      “Damn all this commerce! It’s bad for business!”

  2. Something something something “small government” – blah blah blah government is bad even though he’s spent 8 years in said evil government. Sounds like he wants to be in a higher form of government and this is “wink wink” code to other tea baggers that everything will be just fine, that we WILL teach the voters of Oklahoma that they cant go around voting against federal law and legalizing something that grows out of the ground.

    1. I think you’re onto something there, in that why would he want to
      bother with his regulations proposal since he’s leaving the council
      anyway, except for the fact that he has greater political aspirations and will need the public’s support.

      Many of those who live in the Green Mile area are probably
      offended by seeing the amount of shops, thinking that they ‘cheapen’ the neighborhood and will lower property values.
      And as they happen to pass them each day, they probably
      check out the cars at the drive-thous to see if any of them
      might be a neighbor (for shame, for shame).

      And in doing so they’re reminded that the places are making money, which is another slap in the face to them.

      I can remember back in the hippy days how it was common for
      the older more devout ones to purposely attempt to ‘turn on’
      others who might have redneck tendencies like getting drunk and looking for a gay to beat up and so forth, in order to mellow
      them out and help them develop a better attitude toward others and not be so soured on the world.

      Maybe those Green Mile folks could use a dose of that.
      I can also remember the first time I got stoned that I wondered to
      myself how something that felt so natural and that made you happy could be illegal. It just didn’t make sense.

      I figured that the laws would change as my generation got older and came into political power, but it took much longer than I had
      thought, probably because there were still so many that had never tried it for themselves.

      1. Those of us that consume don’t care who sees us in the drive thru, the only ones who care are the nosey neighbors who probably wished they we’re going thru the drive thru.

  3. I slept through most of my civics classes, so I’m having trouble figuring out how an OKC city ordinance might have direct effect on the density of med pot shops in Guthrie.

  4. GREINER: Karl, is that MARIJUANA you’re smoking!?!

    KARL from SLINGBLADE: Ummmmmm-hmmm. Some people calls it marijuana, some calls it grass, some calls it weed. Ummm. I call it my Happy Plant, ummmm-hmmm.

    GREINER: Karl, that stuff will turn you into a murderer! Haven’t you seen the scientific documentary called REEFER MADNESS!

    KARL: Must of missed that one, ummm-hmmm. Would you care for a toke?

    GREINER: NO, I would NOT care for a toke! Karl, don’t you know that stuff makes you want to hang around with NEGROS who play JAZZ?!?!

    KARL: Ummm. I heard jazz once. Purty good music, I reckon. It was Louis Armstrong. I heard tell he smoked Happy Plant most ever’ day. Ummmm. I reckon I’m gettin’ high, ummmm-hmmmm. I’m a-gonna order some French fried taters coz I’m purty hungry. Will you be wantin’ some?

    GREINER: Karl, this is an outrage!

    KARL [sharpening lawn mower blade]: Young feller, you’re killin’ my buzz. Ummmmm.

  5. nice, insightful article. bravo. i’m fired up like a fatty!

  6. Seems that the proposals to ban drive-thrus and create distance requirements may run afoul of 63 O.S 427.8(B), which says that “Municipal and county governing bodies may not enact medical marijuana guidelines which restrict or interfere with the rights of a licensed patient or caregiver to possess, purchase, cultivate or transport medical marijuana.”

    How are these proposed ordinances not a restriction or interference on the ability to purchase marijuana?

    1. Passing laws that violate laws is an Oklahoma tradition. I guess he’s just moving the attorney fees from the state coffers down to the city.

  7. I don’t know much about OKC politics, but I’m glad y’all are getting rid if this guy one way or another. Well done!

  8. The 1000′ foot proposal is useless. Market forces will eventually take care of that. Dispensaries are the new “slug bug” game for me and my wife anyway. This proposal will ruin our fun!

    1. “Dispensaries are the new ‘slug bug’ game for me and my wife”

      …There are resources available if you’re in a relationship plagued with domestic violence.

  9. Now Krakatoa has me wondering. Going from vape to CBD to medical marijuana what would be the next fad? Meth? A reprise of crack? Maybe heroin. Pull up, stick out your arm with your debit card and get a shot of smack in one easy motion.

    1. The “slippery slope” fallacy.

  10. From an article earlier this year:

    In that election and his re-election campaign in 2017, Greiner connected with voters with a [b]limited-government message[/b], enabling him to overcome better-financed opponents backed by city business leaders

    Yes because nothing says “limited government” like stopping people from driving their car to obtain medicine. If there was only another type of business where you could drive up to a window and get medince as maybe some kind of control and variable we could go off of….

  11. As someone who has business in the same strip center as both a dispensary and growing operation I am on board with the ventilation requirement. The rest of it doesn’t make much sense.

  12. This is un-democratic, anti-business, anti-capitalism and misguided. Greiner needs to hurry and find a male sex partner before he ends up a bitter old undiscovered queen like Pat Robertson.

  13. I’m reminded of video stores in my small hometown 30 years ago. The first one was quite prosperous but pricey. Then the second, third, and fourth ones, each with lower prices. The last few years of video stores, only one was left. Competition takes care of too many suppliers of a good/service.

  14. I suppose he got the language from Mike Hunter? Since the state failed to kill medical, slip it to the “local”pressure groups do it.

    Next, they’ll zone out “Family Planning ” clinics.

  15. If many stores = price war i’m good with many stores

  16. He’s just prepping for the State house…

  17. I would like to remind you that the state question, which is now a part of the Oklahoma constitution, prohibits any special zoning for businesses selling Medical Cannabis.

    Maybe special zoning is a good idea. Maybe not. But the authors of the state question obviously foresaw the possibility that cities would try to pass zoning laws. It would take a statewide vote to change it. I can’t see that it would be worth it in the first place.

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