Oklahoma cannabis license numbers down by 27% since last year

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The number of active cannabis licenses in Oklahoma dropped dramatically this year amid an oversupplied market, a crackdown on illicit operators and a moratorium on new permits.

The total number of active licenses fell by 27.4% to 8,555 between January 2023 and January 2024, according to The Oklahoman newspaper.

Data shared by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) shows there are:

  • 4,617 active cultivation licenses, down 34.7% since this time last year.
  • 2,388 active dispensary licenses, down 13.4% year-over-year.
  • 1,341 active processor licensees, a 21.2% decrease from the previous year.
  • 115 active transportation licenses, down 16.7%.

Porsha Riley, the OMMA’s public relations manager, said the market is saturated, there is a moratorium on new licenses and the regulator has been cracking down on noncompliant businesses, which has drawn criticism from some operators.

Even the number of registered medical cannabis patients in the state has declined – a drop of 11% to 332,223 – since early 2022.

Declining patient numbers is common among states where adult-use cannabis is legal, but Oklahoma rejected a recreational legalization initiative earlier this year.

The most obvious sign of the shift is that many dispensaries in the state have shuttered, according to The Oklahoman.

Corbin Wyatt, owner of Likewise Cannabis dispensary, told the newspaper that too many entrepreneurs entered the industry for the wrong reasons.

“A lot of people did see this as a get-rich-quick scheme. I think that’s the wrong mentality when you’re looking at a business like this,” Wyatt said.

“You should be looking at this as you’re providing a good service to your community.”