We are midway through 2020 and the industry has added 667 licenses this year. Those new licenses represent a 9.6% increase from the 6,927 at the beginning of the year. Twenty-one states have added at least one active license this year. Oklahoma still retails the lead and has accounted for 249 of the 667 (37%).
Other states are continuing to issue licenses or are engaged in fights with existing license holders or those that were denied licenses.
- Rhode Island announced this week that the state Department of Business Regulation will begin accepting applications Friday from businesses hoping to win a license to operate one of six additional medical marijuana dispensaries. This is big news as there are only 3 dispensaries in the state now. To apply, applicants will have to submit a $10,000 fee along with a host of detailed financial information. Winners of the licenses will each have to pay an annual $500,000 licensing fee, considered one of the — if not the — most expensive in the country according to the Providence Journal. By contrast, an Oklahoma cannabis license is $2,500.
- In Oklahoma a class action lawsuit has been filed against OMMA – the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority with respect to residency requirements. According to the lawsuit, more than 250 businesses are impacted by the residency requirement changes and school distance changes.
- Missouri, which had a very organized rollout of licenses is now being besieged by lawsuits alleging scorning improprieties from those who were rejected.
- Florida’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a second round of arguments in a battle about whether the state has properly carried out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.
- A Rhode Island license carries an annual fee of $500,000 versus $2,500 in Oklahoma!
- Oregon, Colorado and Washington together only added 57 on a YTD basis
- Oklahoma leads the nation again with 249 new licenses
- Michigan came in second with 142 new licenses – up 68% since January 1
Oklahoma continues to be the hotspot for dispensaries in the United States and accounts for for almost 25% of the nation’s dispensaries/retailers. The rate of issuance has continued to decline since Q319.
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Cannacurio is a weekly column from Cannabiz Media featuring insights from the most comprehensive license data platform. Catch up on Cannacurio posts and podcasts for the latest updates and intel.
Ed Keating is a co-founder and Chief Data Officer of Cannabiz Media and oversees our data research and government relations efforts. He has spent his whole career working with and advising information companies in the compliance space. Ed has overseen complex multijurisdictional product lines in the securities, corporate, UCC, safety, environmental and human resource markets and focuses on workflow products over the last twenty five years. During that time he has worked for both startup and established information companies where he has led marketing, product management and sales organizations. These companies include Wolters Kluwer/Commerce Clearing House, CT Corporation, EDGAR Online and Business & Legal Reports. At Cannabiz Media Ed enjoys the challenge of working with regulators across the globe as he and his team gather corporate, financial, and license information to track the people, products and businesses in the cannabis economy. Ed graduated from Hamilton College and received his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.