Pot entrepreneurs flocking to the Bible Belt for low taxes

FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2019 file photo marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis grow in Gardena, Calif. California is increasing business tax rates on legal marijuana, a move that stunned struggling companies that have been pleading with the state to do just the opposite. Hefty marijuana taxes that can approach 50 percent in some communities have been blamed for pushing shoppers into California's tax-free illegal market, which is thriving. Industry analysts estimate that $3 are spent in the illegal market for every $1 in the legal one. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File)
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) When voters in conservative Oklahoma approved medical marijuana in 2018, many thought the rollout would be slow and burdened with bureaucracy.

Instead, business is booming so much that cannabis industry workers and entrepreneurs are moving to Oklahoma from states with more well-established pot cultures, like California, Colorado and Oregon.

Those coming to Oklahoma say it's because there are fewer costs and lower regulatory burdens.

While startup costs in other states can run into the millions of dollars, Oklahoma has no restrictions on the number dispensaries, growers and processors.

All those licenses cost $2,500 annually, and the application process is relatively simple.

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