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Following up on our recent review of dispensaries and retailers, we now delve into cultivation licenses. These “census” snapshots derived from our Cannabiz Business Intelligence™ platform show where new licenses are being created and where the balance of power is from market to market. Customers use this information for go-to-market strategies as it may inform their sales territories, trade show planning, and marketing spend.
The following table is the year-end snapshot of new cultivation licenses added by month this year:
In looking at the month-to-month issuance, there has definitely been a downward trend – really driven by the larger issuing states:
One of the most significant observations is that on the whole, fewer licenses are being issued. We tallied 9,010 new cultivator licenses in 2021 and 6,010 in 2022. This is a good sign for the cannabis economy as there is too much supply. Cannabiz Media views licenses as a lagging indicator since some states only remove them from the rolls after expiry, so we view the contraction as real and significant.
In our last Cultivation Leaderboard Report issued midyear, we shared some regulatory policies that are or will be having an impact on cultivation licenses. Most of these have been on schedule. There have also been pleas for moratoriums in states like Colorado, Michigan, and most recently, Massachusetts. The flood of legal licenses along with the vigor of the legacy market have been driving the price of cannabis down, to the detriment of many license holders.
The table below is a snapshot of the total cultivation licenses by state as of December 2022. Six states account for just about 90% of the licenses: California, Oklahoma, Michigan, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington.
The rate of license issuance is slowing, though 90% of the licenses exist in six states. The reduction in new licenses may help to chip away at the oversupply of cannabis and falling wholesale prices that cultivators have had to contend with. You can read the report we worked on with Wells Fargo that discussed that phenomenon here.
As the Northeast grows and continues to add legitimate license holders, what will happen to the oversupply in the west that is being shipped east? We will continue to track these trends and will update you in future posts.
Cannabiz Media customers can stay up-to-date on these and other new licenses through our newsletters, alerts, and reports modules. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive these weekly reports delivered to your inbox. Or you can schedule a demo for more information on how to access the Cannabiz Media License Database yourself to dive further into this data.
Ed Keating is a co-founder of Cannabiz Media and oversees the company’s data research and government relations efforts. He has spent his career working with and advising information companies in the compliance space. Ed has managed product, marketing, and sales while overseeing complex multijurisdictional product lines in the securities, corporate, UCC, safety, environmental, and human resource markets.
At Cannabiz Media, Ed enjoys the challenge of working with regulators across the globe as he and his team gather corporate, financial, and license information to track the people, products, and businesses in the cannabis economy.
Ed graduated from Hamilton College and received his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
Cannacurio is a weekly column from Cannabiz Media featuring insights from the most comprehensive license data platform. Catch up on Cannacurio posts and podcasts for the latest updates and intel.