As of October 1stOklahoma medical marijuana has gone full speed ahead. The state has already received a considerable amount of revenue from registration fees. Here are a few of those figures:

Patient registration fee: $501,100 for 5,011 applicants

Medicaid patient registration fee: $46,140 for 2,307 applicants

Temporary patient registration fee (valid for 30 days): $1,100 for 11 applicants

Grower registration fee: $2,295,000 for 918 applicants

Processor registration fee: $607,500 for 243 applicants

Dispensary registration fee: $1,500,000 for 600 applicants

            Source: Oklahoma State Department of Health

$5 Million in Fees

Revenue may be up, but this also means a significant number of dispensaries operating with a rather low number of patients. It would work out to a 12:1 patient-to-dispensary ratio if all currently submitted 600 retail licenses are approved.

More dispensaries mean more competition. And combined with relatively light state regulations, some are unsure the path medical marijuana will take in Oklahoma.

“We need to be careful about how our market evolves. “But this is what the people voted for and our Legislature decided not to take any real actions to implement control we’ve seen in other markets, so now here we are. It’s kind of survival of the fittest to see who makes it and who doesn’t.”

Bud Scott – Director of New Health Solutions Oklahoma

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA)

Recent statistics released by the OMMA reveal that 7,329 patient applications have been received, not including 243 processing, 600 dispensary, and 918 grower applications. The situation is going a bit one-sided in the state.  Scott believes that the commercial license boom to continue at the same rate in subsequent years though. This will definitely be the case if patient license numbers don’t also rise.

$2,500 Gets You in the Game

The $2,500 application fee is the same for growing, processing, or operating a dispensary. This relatively low figure evens the field for a variety of entrepreneurs. It lets newbies enter the industry and get a real chance to grow (literally and figuratively). Of course, a lower starting fee doesn’t guarantee anything. But it does mean that companies need to focus that much more on their brand and differentiation.

It’s a Free Market

Prior to SQ 788 – medical cannabis – passing in the panhandle state, the Oklahoma State Medical Association and the Oklahoma Hospital Association had lobbied for a dispensary cap. They wanted a cap on 50 dispensaries, but only until patient numbers rose. But the state’s emergency rules gave no dispensary cap. Now, after passing, a number of medical groups have asked the state to implement such a rule now – citing other states that have done so and with success.

The state’s lawmakers are going to vote soon on product testing recommendations. They’ll send these to the Oklahoma State Department of Health to approve before patient sales. But any other major changes to the law won’t take effect until after the February session.

What do they do with all that License Money Anyway?

Oklahoma collected $5 million in license fees. $3.5 was used to implement online licensing applications and hire staff. Although this was covered via $30 million emergency appropriation provided by the Legislature when the Health Department was in the midst of a financial scandal.

It will take time for Oklahoma to figure out exactly how much money they will need to fund their medical marijuana program. Emergency monies funded the program first. But now fees will fund do it. But only time will tell if this will bring in enough money.

Additionally, the Oklahoma Marijuana Authority Fund will hold taxes from cannabis sales. There is a state question concerning what to do if the sales tax money exceeds program costs. 75% would go to the General Revenue Fund. And 25% is earmarked for the OSDH for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Market is Starting Strong

Itching to get into a new market? Let Pinnacle navigate the application and licensing process for you. Because we know all things Okie. Don’t waste time and go it alone. Make it easy and choose the experts! Schedule a consultation.