Oklahoma medical cannabis sales exceed $800 million for 2020

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Oklahoma’s medical cannabis industry reached a whole new realm of success last year, when revenue accrued through the state’s legal program exceeded $831 million. In comparison with sales figures from 2019, medical cannabis-related revenue inflated more than twice in 2020.

Data published by the Oklahoma Tax Commission revealed that the state’s medical cannabis retailers/dispensaries generated $385 million dollars in sales through June 2020. During the previous year, state license dispensaries harvested approximately $345 million.

Furthermore, retailers recorded $71.6 million in state and local taxes for 2020 — a $41 million increase since 2019. The jump in revenue was attributed to rising patient enrollment, with 365,000 patients registering for the program in December — a significant increase from the 220,000 in January.

Based on predictions from the Marijuana Business Factbook, Oklahoma’s medical cannabis market will accrue between $700 million and $860 million this year. 

A handful of other states with well-established legal cannabis programs have also been spotlighted for accomplishing record sales milestones in 2020, including Colorado and Illinois.

Medical cannabis excise taxes bulked up Oklahoma economy

In an effort to turnover sustainable profit for the State of Oklahoma, state tax, local tax and a seven percent excise tax are imposed on medical cannabis sales. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) benefits from the state’s share of cannabis taxes.

“Really taking a look at the tax numbers over that time, climbed really steadily, and reached a peak of $5.5 million in that excise tax collection in June of 2020,” says the interim Director at the OMMA, Dr. Kelly Williams. “Just a year before, in June of 2019, we only had $2.1 million in excise tax collection.”

According to Dr. Williams, the OMMA pulled in an impressive $50 million through the seven percent excise tax in 2020. This is a record-breaking figure and represents more than double growth from 2019. Furthermore, those sales also contributed in excess of $71 million in sales tax revenue for individual cities and communities spread across the state.

“The sales tax revenue that has come into these smaller communities especially, or the larger cities even, has helped sustain those budget issues that they would have faced otherwise,” said State Representative Scott Fetgatter (R-Okmulgee).

The agency also confirmed that 10,000 commercial licensees have been dished out and its patient count has surpassed 370,000. To put this into perspective, Oklahoma’s medical cannabis patient count constitutes almost 10 percent of the state’s population.

Out-of-staters welcome to participate in Oklahoma’s medical cannabis program 

On Thursday, February 18, the Oklahoma House approved an extension on the length of medical cannabis licenses that out-of-state residents can obtain. The extension, which was secured with a vote of 52-32, means that non-resident medical cannabis patients can now benefit from having two-year license validity; as opposed to 30 days.

The extension on House Bill 2022 is sure to bring in a bulk of extra revenue for the state. Introduced by Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, HB 2022 would offer nonresident medical cannabis licenses to residents from all 50 states. 

“It does allow people in all 50 states to come to the state of Oklahoma for their medical needs,” said Fetgatter.

At the current time, only non-residential license holders in states that have enacted medical cannabis programs can purchase, consume and cultivate the plant in Oklahoma.