While medical marijuana is legally available in 36 states and Washington DC, the fragmented nature of the industry – each state creates its own set of rules – means each market grows at a different rate.
An analysis of state markets that release patient counts on at least a quarterly basis reveals several key takeaways:
- Oklahoma is the fastest-growing medical marijuana market in the average number of daily patient increases, and MMJ patients represent 4.1% of the state’s total population – one of the highest rates in the nation. Growth is bolstered by low barriers of entry, including the fact there’s no list of qualifying conditions for patients.
- Florida is the second-fastest-growing market in terms of patients joining the registry, with registered patients making up 1.6% of the state’s total population. This leaves room for further growth, which may occur from the recent legalization of smokable flower and continued wide access to dispensaries.
- Despite having operational markets for only a few months, Arkansas and Ohio have reached a statewide proportion of medical marijuana patients on par with mature markets such as Illinois, New Jersey and New York.
- After a strong first year of sales, Maryland’s medical marijuana program continues to grow, and regulators are evaluating a second round of business license applications for 10 processors and four cultivators to meet demand.
- Arizona and New Mexico continue to post solid growth and may benefit from recent developments in each state. New Mexico regulators expanded the state’s list of qualifying conditions for patients, are increasing the number of plants allowed to be grown by the state’s 35 vertically integrated operators and may be forced to allow for out-of-state reciprocity. Arizona regulators extended the life of medical marijuana cards from one year to two, and the state Supreme Court recently ruled that marijuana extracts are legal, ending nearly a year of confusion over the legality of sales of edibles, concentrates and other infused products.
For the latest information about state markets and operational marijuana business data, check out the latest edition of the Marijuana Business Factbook.
Maggie Cowee can be reached at [email protected]