We're On track for 117,000 licensed patients by 1st anniversary
Last August, the Director of the Oklahoma Department of Health, Tom Bates; told the Legislative Interim Study on Medical Marijuana that he projects the granting of 80 thousand licensures for medical marijuana. That total would include less than 10 thousand Medical Marijuana business licenses.
But the first 5 months are showing us a different trend. While the first 2 months (Sept. & Oct.) saw about 1 thousand patient licenses granted each week, the next 3 months are showing a steady expansion of volume. This is attributed to a few factors.
Director Bates said he used the Arizona model for his projections. But Oklahoma has dynamics that we don't see in any other state. Home grow is an essential piece of the Oklahoma rollout. It impacts economic access to medicines for those disabled Oklahomans who simply cannot pay $400 for a meager monthly supply, for their condition. Some health conditions require an even more intense treatment.
Currently the OMMA (the health department's division which oversees medical marijuana) is granting around 2700 patient licenses per week. If the current activity continues at this rate, by the time we reach the first anniversary of the August 25th rollout, our patient license count will be 117,000 .
The market analysis for our dispensaries is not as certain. We currently have 1 licensed dispensary for every 41 patients. That would equate to just 2 purchases per day of a monthly medical supply. And that doesn't even take into account the many who will be growing at their own homes and avoiding the massive tax burden which is embedded in the price of the medicine.
If the ratio doubles between now and Labor day, there will be a reasonable market for many of the dispensaries.
Currently there are over 900 dispensary licenses issued, but less than half of them are conducting business, according to most observations.
We're awaiting the latest reports from the OMMA and the tax commission.
One anomaly of our patient licensing trends was observed in mid December. The patient card issuance for one particular week more than doubled. Our only guess is that destitute patients who could not overwise afford the roughly $250 for a doctor visit and state license fee, were treated to an early Christmas present by a compassionate friend or family member.