The Center for Legal Studies & Business Ethics at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business will host its first research symposium, "Legal, Ethical, and Compliance Issues in Emerging Markets: Cannabis in the States," Feb. 28-29 at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City.
The Center, which enhances business and professional ethics and regulatory compliance by exploring issues at the intersections of law and business, is cohosting the event with the American Business Law Journal published by the Academy of Legal Studies and Business.
“One goal of the Center is to promote research that ultimately may provide value to industry, and especially those operating in emerging or disruptive markets,” said Director Laurie Lucas, Chair of Business Ethics for the Center and a Spears Business associate professor of legal studies. “So, consideration of the cannabis industry seemed like an obvious choice for our first event.”
Thirty-three states, including Oklahoma, and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis in some form, though it remains illegal under federal law. This conflict between federal and state creates uncertainty for regulators, as well as for producers, consumers and other stakeholders. Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana use in 2018 and now leads the nation on a per capita basis for the number of licensed dispensaries operating in the state and more than 240,000 Oklahomans have a medical marijuana card. The state collected nearly $55 million in taxes from more than $345 million in sales in the industry in 2019.
“Contributors from 15 states and Canada are represented by the scholarship being presented at the symposium,” said Lucas, “so we’re expecting a wide range of input and are excited to sponsor this event.” Paper topics include issues related to international law, finance and banking, taxation, product marketing, human resources, health issues, professional ethics and ethical theory.
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The Spears School of Business' Center for Legal Studies & Business Ethics envisions a world where business may achieve competitive advantage through legal, ethical, and regulatory compliance.