DURANT, Oklahoma (KTEN) – A bill newly proposed to the Oklahoma legislature would eliminate a tax exemption that medical marijuana growers have enjoyed since their business was legalized.

This, in turn, could lead to higher prices for consumers.

Currently, marijuana growers fall on the state’s agricultural tax exemption list. Senate Bill 1101 would remove the exemption for growing, harvesting or processing cannabis.

“The cost of the lights, the cost of the soil, the cost of the pots… all of those things that were exempt, you could write off or not pay taxes,” said Erik Jenkins, owner of Organic Meds. “Now they want this money back. “

Tax revenues would go towards resources to better manage Oklahoma’s burgeoning marijuana industry.

“We don’t collect enough taxes,” said Representative Justin Humphrey (R-District 19). “We’re cheaper than anyone else, and we’re not paying enough to support law enforcement, inspectors, assessors and whatever it takes to make sure it regulates. “

But Jordan Ensey of Sweet Leaf Farmacy in Durant said more regulations would likely have a negative impact on their industry.

“It’s just going to push people to go into the black market,” she said. “If we keep raising our prices here and people can no longer afford their drugs, they will just switch and take them off the streets.”

“We need to talk to the people at the head of OMMA [Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority] and diversify the destination of those funds, ”Jenkins said. “We don’t really have a clue where the money is going.

But Humphrey said the tax would be justified.

“They are overloading our electricity grid,” he said. “Now we’re going to have to buy new substations. Guess who’s going to have to buy for this, you and me? They are not paying their fair share of what it costs rural Oklahoma and the state of Oklahoma. “