The state of the Oklahoma medical marijuana sector truly exploded in popularity since it was passed into law in mid-2018. According to the state licensing agency, Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, as of mid-February, the state has approved over 40,000 patients, nearly 1,000 dispensaries, 1,600 growers, 436 processors, and 267 caregivers. With this huge amount of growth from a sector of the Oklahoma economy which did not exist a year ago, there have been a couple growing pains for the nascent industry. First, though, we should celebrate the success as well which has been far more bountiful already in 2019. While there are a couple issues the Oklahoma medical marijuana industry still has to tackle, one of which is the high of prices for the cannabis commodity. Medicine, including medical marijuana in Oklahoma, should be priced reasonable for the patients using the product. Furthermore, the state shut down a hotline formerly used for medical marijuana questions to be answered. Yet, even with a couple problems cropping up into the young sector, we are thrilled to be where we are within the Oklahoma medical marijuana market. Let’s dive in and take a deeper look.
States Seeing High Sales
The state of Oklahoma launched its medical marijuana program in late 2018. Since then, the state has benefited greatly from the tax revenue generated from Oklahoma medical marijuana sales. The first month of 2019 has brought promise that the industry is continuing to thrive and becoming more popular in the Sooner state. According to reports, the State of Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program topped $4 million in sales for January. From these sales, the state of Oklahoma generated around $300,000 from their 7% tax on medical marijuana program. Furthermore, the state also generated more than $13 million in licensing fees from business and patient applications to access the fledgling medical marijuana sector. Industry experts suggest the Oklahoma medical marijuana sector could balloon to over $150 million per year and perhaps as even high as $250 million per year. With these high hopes for the Sooner State, we with the Peak Dispensary are thankful and happy to be able to serve our customers with quality medical marijuana.
Prices Remain High
While the state sees huge tax windfalls from the nascent Oklahoma medical marijuana market, prices for the consumable cannabis commodity remains high in the Sooner state. This is larger because there is more demand for the product that can be produced and the state restricts dispensaries to only sell a product which has been grown inside the state of Oklahoma. This has created a situation where prices are higher than perhaps they should be when you look at the national average for cannabis. Most of these high prices are due to a larger amount of demand than supply, something that should change as more grows and companies come online to produce medical marijuana for the young and fledging Oklahoma market.
State Temporarily Closes MMJ Hotline
While the Oklahoma medical marijuana sector continues to boom, the state regulatory agency continues to struggle with such high levels of interest from businesses and consumers. The state regulatory body, OMMA noted in early February that they had over 14,000 applications left to process for patients alone. With this decent amount of backlogged work to be completed, local news has reported that the OMMA has temporarily closed down a call center to help process patient and business license applications within the cannabis sector. This is perhaps the best answer to calls for the state to speed up the processing of applications which has become more of a workload than perhaps anyone could have guessed 6 months ago when Medical marijuana in Oklahoma became officially legal.
All and all, we are very thrilled to see the young Oklahoma medical marijuana industry come as far as it has in less than a year. We are thankful to be able to serve our great customer base and all the medical marijuana patients who stop in for a visit to The Peak Dispensary. We hope to see you sometime soon at one of our many locations.
Until next time, stay well!