Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Industry Grows To One Of The Nation’s Strongest In One Year

More than 5 percent of Oklahoma’s population is enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program, according to a new report.

In less than one year, Oklahoma has developed one of the strongest medical marijuana markets in the nation. According to a new report from Marijuana Business Daily (MBD), more than 5 percent of Oklahoma’s population is registered as a medical marijuana patient, surpassing any other program in the nation.

Reports from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) indicate that more than 200,000 people in the state now possess medical marijuana cards, turning the traditionally red state a little more green. The current number of patients shows a huge jump from late 2018, when there were only around 25,000 medical marijuana card owners.

Tax receipts released by the Oklahoma Tax Commission show medical marijuana sales grew to more than $258 million in the first ten months of 2019. The MBD report estimates those numbers are on track to surpass $350 million by the end of the year.

Many attribute the explosive first year to Oklahoma’s business-friendly approach to the medical marijuana market. Under state law, there are no limits on the number of business licenses that can be granted, doctors can recommend medical marijuana for any condition they deem worthy, and municipalities are not allowed to enact zoning restrictions to prevent dispensaries from opening.

According to the MBD report, as of mid-November, Oklahoma had issued 2,168 dispensaries licenses. Local news reports indicated that around 1,600 of those dispensaries are open and operating businesses.

Other than dispensary licenses, the state has distributed licenses for 1,415 processors and 4,931 growers. MBD analysts proposed that by the time Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program reaches maturity, the market could be worth up to $700 million annually.

Voters approved State Questions 788 in June 2018, making Oklahoma the 30th state in the nation to grant medical cannabis access to its residents.

MMJ in Oklahoma

After several attempts by advocates to present a marijuana state question to voters, lawmakers finally approved placing State Question 788 on the June 2018 ballot. Oklahoma voters approved the measure with a 56 percent vote to legalize the cultivation, distribution, and use of medical marijuana.

Oklahoma marijuana law now allows adults 18 years of age and older to obtain a medical marijuana license with the recommendation of a board-certified physician and offers a license to minors with certain restrictions. Oklahoma medical marijuana patients can possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana and grow up to six mature plants and six seedlings.

In September, Oklahoma lawmakers, with the approval of Gov. Kevin Stitt, updated the medical marijuana program expanding the ability to acquire a medical recommendation. According to the OMMA, residents can obtain a medical marijuana recommendation from state-licensed podiatrists, doctors who treat disorders of the feet or ankle, osteopathic doctors (D.O.) and medical doctors (M.D.)

Two other changes were made, including access to a new 60-day short-term license for adults and minors with a 60-day doctor’s recommendation and discounted application fees for veterans with a 100 percent disability rating.

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In the last several years the number of states with medical marijuana only programs has risen, bringing the total to 22. Learn more about which states have legal cannabis programs by visiting our Where Is Marijuana Legal? page.

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