States like California and Colorado may grab all the headlines when it come to cannabis, but it’s Oklahoma’s medical market that’s seeing the fastest growth in the U.S.
This year, the state has added an average of 13,425 new medical cannabis users per month — “a number that no other U.S. market has come close to,” according to cannabis research firm BDSA. In fact, Oklahomans bought more medical marijuana in the first half of this year than in all of 2019, according to tax collection data. BDSA now sees the state’s sales reaching $1 billion by 2022, a 14% jump from the firm’s April forecast.
This growth is being driven in part by light-touch regulation that makes it much easier to start a medical marijuana dispensary than in other parts of the U.S. While medical cannabis was only legalized after a state referendum in 2018, BDSA sees nearly one in 10 Oklahomans — almost 400,000 — carrying the cannabis cards that let them shop at dispensaries by the end of the year.
That’s a far cry from the next busiest U.S. medical market, New Mexico, with just 5.3% of its population seen having access to cannabis by year end. “This is one of the most interesting markets in the country,” said Peter Barsoom, who opted to expand his Colorado-based edibles brand 1906 to Oklahoma, instead of a state like Oregon or California.
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