The state leading the nation in cannabis cultivation licenses may surprise you. According to new data gathered by Cannacurio, Oklahoma topped the nation for the most cannabis licenses issued, with nearly 2,400 new cannabis cultivation licenses issued during the 2020 year.
The total number of active cannabis cultivation licenses in the database has reached 18,172 licenses, with 5,402 new cultivation licenses added this year. Eighty-seven percent of the new licenses were added in California and Oklahoma—amounting to nearly 5,000 combined licenses. Michigan remains a distant third with 333 licenses added in 2020. Oklahoma issued 2,392 new licenses compared to California’s 2,304 new licenses.
“We last looked at cannabis cultivation licenses in early fall and today’s post is an update on new licenses issued as well as total licenses,” the report reads. “In September California and Oklahoma have been responsible for over 89 percent of the new cultivation licenses. This has dipped slightly to 87 percent even though California and Oklahoma issued 1,059 new cultivation licenses in September, October and November.”
That data means that Oklahoma outpaced California by 88 new licenses. That’s an impressive feat when you consider that California is home to 39.51 million people compared to Oklahoma’s 3.957 million people—a tenth the size of California in terms of population size.
Ed Keating is co-founder and chief data officer of Connecticut-based Cannabiz Media—the parent company of Cannacurio. “Our data team has been working to understand these dynamics by aggregating the farms and the total number of licenses they have” in order to better understand the impacts on canopy size and vertical integration, Keating said.
That’s not the only cannabis-related record that Oklahoma has achieved: A February report indicated that Oklahoma led the nation in the number of cannabis dispensaries. Oklahoma’s lack of licensings caps make it an ideal state for a huge industry to grow in, while it also opens the door for unprecedented competition.