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Oklahoma Has 32 Times More Medical Cannabis Than It Needs, Study Finds

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jun 23, 2023   
Cannabis buds in a person's hands.

Image credit: iStock

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Oklahoma has a lot of cannabis, too much in fact. According to a recent study conducted by Cannabis Public Policy Consulting, Oklahoma has 32 times more legal medical cannabis than is necessary to meet the demand of licensed patients.

The study found the supply-and-demand ratio in Oklahoma is 64 grams of regulated medical cannabis supplied for every 1 gram of demand for a licensed patient. The study states a ratio of 2 grams of supply for every 1 gram of demand is a healthy market, putting Oklahoma’s functional supply-and-demand ratio at 32:1.

Given this vast disparity, the consulting group says it is likely that, to offload their products and make some revenue, many licensed medical cannabis businesses are supplying the state’s illicit market. Around 43% of cannabis consumed by Oklahomans comes from illicit sources, according to Cannabis Public Policy Consulting.

The findings of the study were presented to the state’s cannabis regulator, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), this month. In response, the regulator says it intends to face this abundance of cannabis “head-on”.

“First and foremost, OMMA is steadfast in our commitment to serving the needs of Oklahoma medical marijuana patients,” said the authority’s executive director Adria Berry in a statement.

“It is essential that we address this oversupply head-on, not only to ensure the integrity and sustainability of our medical marijuana market for our patients but to promote public safety and mitigate dangers that coincide with illicit marijuana activity for all Oklahomans.”

“Through strategic partnerships, rigorous oversight, streamlined compliance monitoring, advancements of smart policies and stakeholder engagement, we can foster an environment that promotes safety and prevents large-scale diversion,” Berry continued.

“At OMMA, we understand the importance of transparency and will be providing updates on our progress.”

The news of Oklahoma’s cannabis glut won’t come as a surprise to many. Since 2018, the state has had one of the loosest and largest medical cannabis sectors in the US. As of June 2022, it had nearly three times (2,877) as many licensed cannabis dispensaries as California (roughly 1,000), despite having a tenth of that state’s population.

And the scale of the state’s medical marijuana industry seems to be more than enough for residents. In March this year, voters in Oklahoma decisively rejected the option of a legalized recreational cannabis market.


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