Following its landmark vote in 2018 to become the 30th state in America to legalize medical cannabis, Oklahoma has been sailing full steam ahead. For such a conservative state, OK has surprisingly taken some massive strides towards creating a viable medical cannabis market.
It may have taken some time to get here (which you can read all about that in our previous article on the History of Cannabis in Oklahoma <link>), but the sun is finally shining on MMJ in OKL. Let’s take a look at what has happened in the last year.
The Story So Far
2019 will be the first full year of market operations in Oklahoma, and according to Marijuana Business Daily, the state has already granted more than 7,300 business licenses. Cultivation licenses make up the bulk of that figure, with nearly 4,300 grower permits issued, along with more than 1,100 processor permits.
This means a healthy supply chain has already been established for Oklahoma’s medical market. Furthermore, with more than 1,800 dispensary licenses issued, a significant portion of the state’s medical cannabis community now has legal access to our favorite healing plant. And speaking of the size of Oklahoma’s MMJ community, regulators have approved nearly 180,000 applications for patients to buy and use cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Not to mention, multiple cannabis trade shows have been held this year in the state, many of them for the first time. For example, Oklahoma City’s inaugural High Times Cannabis Cup held in August was a landmark event that we were proud to be a part of. It’s truly been a fantastic year for cannabis in OK.
Still to Come
Despite this progress, Oklahoma’s medical cannabis market is still in its infancy. Licensing for testing labs, and regs forcing growers and producers to test their products for safety landed two months ago, but much of the state’s other regulation is yet to come into effect. However, regs governing product labelling, waste management and seed-to-sale tracking are all expected to arrive before the end of 2019.
Also expected are new transporter licenses. Currently only fully licensed growers, or processors can transport medical cannabis in Oklahoma, which means delivery drivers must be fully licensed cultivators simply to deliver medical weed. So, a simpler transport-only license should translate into a huge boom for Oklahoma’s delivery services.
While there’s obviously a long way still to go, MMJ in Oklahoma has exploded in an incredibly short space of time. And exceeding all expectations, medical cannabis sales in the state are projected to reach $140 to 180 million by the year’s end, according to Marijuana Business Factbook.
Clearly, 2019 has been a breakthrough year for medical cannabis in Oklahoma, and 2020 could well exceed it.