The cannabis economy in OK has seen significant growth since the state legalized medical marijuana in June 2018.
In just over two years, the state has become one of the fastest-growing legal cannabis markets in the United States, with an estimated market value of over $800 million in 2020.
According to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), over 340,000 patients and 10,000 businesses have been licensed to operate in the state’s medical marijuana industry since legalization. This growth has largely been driven by Oklahoma’s relatively low regulatory barriers and low startup costs, which have encouraged entrepreneurs to open dispensaries and cultivation facilities across the state.
As of September 2020, Oklahoma had over 9,100 licensed marijuana businesses, including over 2,000 dispensaries and almost 7,000 growers. This is a significant increase from just one year prior, when the state had only 5,000 licensed businesses.
While the market experienced a brief slowdown in early 2020 due to COVID-19, it quickly bounced back with record-high sales in the months following. In June 2020 alone, the state’s medical marijuana sales hit a record high of almost $74 million.
Despite the booming market, there are still some challenges facing the cannabis economy in Oklahoma. One of the most significant is the federal government’s continued classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which restricts access to banking and other financial services for cannabis businesses. This has made it difficult for businesses to access capital and has forced many to operate on a cash-only basis.
Additionally, some local municipalities in the state have imposed their own restrictions on the cannabis industry, such as zoning regulations and additional taxes. This has created a somewhat patchwork regulatory system that can be difficult for entrepreneurs to navigate.
Overall, the state of the cannabis economy in Oklahoma is strong and growing rapidly. While there are challenges facing the industry, entrepreneurs and investors have largely been able to navigate these obstacles and build thriving businesses. As the market continues to mature and the industry gains more support from both state and federal governments, the cannabis economy in Oklahoma is poised for even more growth and success in the years to come.