Oklahoma’s business-friendly medical cannabis program still has room to grow, experts say

Jeff Smith | Mjbizdaily.com | May 18, 2020

Medical marijuana sales and patient numbers in Oklahoma continue to increase at a staggering rate, indicating the red-hot market has room to grow, although some sectors and parts of the state are saturated with businesses, industry officials say.

The state’s free-market approach so far has proved successful, with April sales topping $60 million. Meanwhile, regulators have issued more than 10,000 licenses, and grower permits account for more than half that total.

“I’m still getting calls from people who want to get into the business … calling me to find property and file applications,” said Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, an Oklahoma City cannabis attorney. “I think that bodes well for the industry.”

In fact, the state’s lack of license caps and liberal rules for granting patient MMJ cards could serve as a template for companies pushing to open new and existing markets, experts say.

Oklahoma’s medical cannabis program – which launched in October 2018 – is generating nearly $10 million a month in state tax revenue, according to the state Tax Commission, reinforcing the view of industry executives who argue that cannabis programs can help offset declining state revenues during the coronavirus-fueled economic slowdown.

Here’s a look at some key numbers in the state:

  • April sales reached a record $61 million, up 25% from March.

  • The number of approved MMJ patients hit 282,511 as of May 1, an increase of 15% in the past three months.

  • The number of registered patients is equivalent to 7% of the state’s population, a penetration rate that’s more than double other strong MMJ-only states such as Arizona and Florida.

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