Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma
Marijuana Venture’s ongoing series on various legal markets in the United States explores the ever-changing rules and regulations, market trends, demographics, business leaders and more for states that have legalized marijuana for medical or adult use. This month we continue our focus on five leading medical states, with an in-depth look at the explosive cannabis market in Oklahoma.
A confluence of patient access and inexpensive licensing led to a flood of businesses and patients entering Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program immediately after voters passed the initiative in 2018. Today more than 10% of the state’s population — roughly 400,000 residents — are registered patients, generating $945.3 million in sales in 2021. As of January 2022, the state had granted licenses to 1,512 processors, 2,238 dispensaries and a whopping 8,306 growers. It is one of the biggest cannabis markets in the U.S. and with the potential for recreational sales being legalized in 2022, it is only going to get bigger.
However, the low barriers to entry quickly overwhelmed the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. OMMA spokeswoman Kelsey Pagonis estimates that less than half of the state’s licensees have been physically inspected and without a traceability system, the OMMA has no idea how many growers are actually operational or how much cannabis they are growing.
To make matters worse, competition has driven flower prices as low as $1 per gram at some retail stores, and many are speculating that some of the excess flower is moving across state lines.
But the current problems facing Oklahoma’s cannabis market may be short-lived as the OMMA is nearly doubling its number of inspectors with the goal to have every facility inspected by the end of the year. While these measures may not stabilize prices or curb alleged black market activity, they will at least provide some insight as to when the market could reach an equilibrium and how long it may take to get there.
Marijuana Venture will conclude its coverage of the five largest medical markets in the country next month with an extensive look at medical cannabis in Missouri. For information about upcoming issues or to learn about advertising and sponsorship opportunities, email Editor@MarijuanaVenture.com.