At this time last year, State Health Dept Director, Tom Bates; testified to the legislature that his new Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority was expecting about 80,000 licenses to be sought by patients and businesses.
In the 12 months since, his OMMA saw that number become wildly inaccurate. 240% of that number is what really transpired.
The Board of Health (now disbanded) suggested that the population could probably be served by 50 dispensaries which should be strategically licensed around the state. There are now 3600% more than that number of granted licenses. Over 4000 commercial growers are licensed. Well over 1000 medicine processors are licensed.
As of last month, over $50 Million in fees & taxes have been collected, nearly all of it in just the past 6 months.
Last weekend a cultivators contest and music festival was held, to commemorate the 1 year mark since the OMMA first accepted applications for licensure. Crowd estimates are well beyond 10,000 for the 2 day event. Admission tickets started at $60 each.
The average licensed patient spends over $220 per month on cannabis medicine. Largely it is treating mental illnesses & chronic pain. Some cancer patients say it is the only way they can sustain the chemotherapy difficulties.
Some patients who've long been secretly treating their chronic conditions with black market cannabis now report that the large and powerful cartels are seeing a dip in sales and some are moving to other states where they can flourish under a full prohibition.