Cannabis Country

There is a movement happening my forward thinking friends… a nationwide movement towards legalization. I’m not talking about all remaining states coming aboard this November but the momentum is clearly there as evidenced by the recent events in Oklahoma. Yes, you read that correctly, uber-conservative Oklahoma just became the 30th state in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana and is actively rolling out their MMJ program. Surprisingly, Arkansas is also making strides…After hard-fought court battles 5 cultivation licenses were awarded and the state recently hired a consulting firm to evaluate applications and award 32 dispensary licenses for MMJ likely by the new year. What’s next South Carolina and Utah? In time, yes. A Winthrop University poll shows 78% of South Carolinians support legalization of medical marijuana and Utah voters are expected to see binding medical cannabis measures on their ballots this fall.

As we know states with both legal adult recreational and medical use like Colorado, Washington, and Nevada have been firing on all cylinders for some time, while California continues to smooth out its process but should ultimately solidify its position as the market leader or “kingpin” partially based on the simple fact it has the greatest population. Though Massachusetts has also opened up for A &M, they have been very slow to approve licenses. No dispensaries have officially opened and no testing labs have been approved. Under state law, recreational cannabis must be tested before it can be sold in stores.

Still revving up but making a lot of MMJ progress, Michigan is already projected to generate $325 million-$425 million in sales this year and Florida projected to reach $175 million to $235 million. Maryland, has medical cannabis sales on pace to exceed $100 million. Each of these states will continue to add more licensed operators.

Even in smaller states like Connecticut, dispensary sales this year are projected to reach $50 million-$75 million, up from an estimated $30 million-$35 million in 2017. Business is so brisk they plan to add more dispensaries this fall and potentially more cultivators to keep pace with the accelerated consumer demand.

I believe the results we see in November 2018 will prove to be a watershed moment in cannabis legislative history. This is unquestionably a power of the people movement! As more states open up and accept applications for commercial cannabis businesses, it will be extremely important to utilize a team of consultants able to guide you through the process. Hiring our firm will give you the best chance for licensure approval.

Rob Mankowitz
Cannabis Licensing Consultant