As promised when Cannabiz Media released The Growth of Marijuana Licenses in California – 1st Quarter 2018 infographic and ebook last month, the team has been hard at work tracking licenses across the state to keep the infographic updated with the latest data. At the end of this article, you’ll find a new version of the infographic with data up to May 1, 2018, and as you’ll see in the infographic, the growth rate of marijuana licenses in California continues to rise.

Marijuana License Growth between January and May 2018

The number of temporary marijuana licenses that have been granted in California this year has grown by 378% from 1,272 licenses on January 17th to 6,077 licenses on May 1st. When you break down the growth rate from January 17 to May 1 by type of license, it’s clear that cultivation licenses have increased the most during the first four months of 2018:

  • Cultivation licenses: 905% growth rate (from 349 to 3,508 licenses)
  • Distributor licenses: 278% growth rate (from 176 to 665 licenses)
  • Delivery licenses: 263% growth rate (from 52 to 189 licenses)
  • Manufacturing licenses: 156% growth rate (from 302 to 773 licenses)
  • Microbusiness licenses: 149% growth rate (from 57 to 142 licenses)
  • Retail licenses: 145% growth rate (from 137 to 336 licenses)
  • Dispensary licenses: 118% growth rate (from 184 to 401 licenses)
  • Testing licenses: 87% growth rate (from 15 to 28 licenses)
  • Event licenses: From 0 on March 31, 2018 to 35 on May 1, 2018

Marijuana License Growth in April 2018

In total, the number of marijuana licenses in California grew from 5,369 on March 31, 2018 to 6,077 on May 1, 2018, which equates to708 new licenses and a 15% overall growth rate in April 2018. That means California issued an average of about 24 licenses per day in April. The breakdown in growth by license type during April is as follows:

  • Cultivation licenses: 14% growth rate (from 3,077 to 3,508 licenses)
  • Delivery licenses: 14% growth rate (from 166 to 189 licenses)
  • Manufacturing licenses: 13% growth rate (from 682 to 773 licenses)
  • Microbusiness licenses: 10% growth rate (from 129 to 142 licenses)
  • Dispensary licenses: 10% growth rate (from 366 to 401 licenses)
  • Retail licenses: 9% growth rate (from 309 to 336 licenses)
  • Distributor licenses: 8% growth rate (from 613 to 665 licenses)
  • Testing licenses: 4% growth rate (from 27 to 28 licenses)
  • Event licenses: From 0 on March 31, 2018 to 35 on May 1, 2018

The breakdown of marijuana licenses in California still weighs heavily to cultivation licenses with 46% of all licenses going to cultivators, 28% to manufacturers, and 23% to retailers, dispensaries, and delivery businesses.

In addition, California began to issue marijuana event licenses in April 2018. By the end of the month, 35 event licenses had been granted. High Times was awarded one of the first of these new licenses for its Cannabis Cup Central Valley event, which was held on May 4, 2018 in Sacramento, California. Currently, California is the only state that has marijuana event licenses.

California Marijuana Licenses Compared to the Rest of the United States

As of May 1, 2018, California accounted for 39% of active marijuana licenses nationwide. The breakdown below shows just how much California dominates the country’s marijuana industry:

  • Microbusiness licenses: 100% are in California
  • Event licenses: 100% are in California
  • Distributor licenses: 77% are in California
  • Cultivation licenses: 46% are in California
  • Delivery licenses: 43% are in California
  • Manufacturing licenses: 28% are in California
  • Dispensary licenses: 27% are in California
  • Testing licenses: 21% are in California
  • Retail licenses: 16% are in California

In other words, of the 15,521 marijuana licenses that have been granted across the United States, 6,077 of them are in California. The infographic below provides a visualization of this data and more from the Cannabiz Media Licenses Database.

california marijuana licenses infographic may 2018

The Future of Marijuana Licenses in California

Stay tuned to the Cannabiz Media blog for future updates to the infographic and the California marijuana industry story. If you haven’t already subscribed to the Cannabiz Media newsletter, subscribe now, so you don’t miss the new infographic updates when they’re published.

Ed Keating is a co-founder 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. Ed has spent the last twenty five years in the information industry.  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 country 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.  He has been active with the Software & Information Industry Association for his whole career and managed the Content Division for six years.  He’s was recently a Trustee at the Country School in Madison CT and a Little League Coach for seven years.