When Oklahomans legalized medicinal cannabis last year, the Sooner State enacted some of the most lenient medical marijuana laws in the nation, including a blank slate of qualifying conditions for participating doctors and an unlimited number of cannabusiness licenses. And after just one year of legal weed sales, those laissez faire rules have quickly and quietly turned Oklahoma into America’s most prolific medical cannabis marketplace.
In a new data package from the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC), data shows that Sooner State dispensaries sold more than $40 million worth of weed in August alone, tipping the state’s total medical weed sales over $250 million in just 10 months. In a comparative analysis of other states’ first year of medical cannabis sales, Marijuana Business Daily found that Oklahoma dispensaries outsold nearby counterparts in Ohio and Illinois by tens of millions of dollars a month.
Gallery — Check Out These "Blunts":
In fact, Oklahoma’s $40 million August sales were so staggering that they even surpassed figures from the same ninth month of activity in Nevada’s recreational marijuana market — by more than $10 million.
To reach those jaw-dropping sales numbers, Oklahoma regulators have licensed 2,168 dispensaries, 1,415 processors, and 4,931 cultivators. But as loose business laws have allowed for nearly 5,000 growers to plant seeds in the Great Plains state, patient participation has grown just as rapidly. Oklahoma is now home to more than 210,000 registered medical marijuana patients, or more than 5 percent of the entire state — the highest rate in the entire country.
Despite a previously unimaginable first year of medical marijuana business, Oklahoma lawmakers and cannabis advocates have not yet established a firm path toward total recreational legalization. But even without adult-use sales, Oklahomans are already redefining the term tumbleweed.
Gallery — End Federal Cannabis Prohibition!:
Follow Zach Harris on Twitter