Cannacurio #82: Dispensary and Retailer 2023 Q3 Leaderboard

Here is our round-up of states that issued dispensary/retailer licenses in the 3rd quarter of 2023. So far this year we added 716 stores in Q1 2023; 471 in Q2 and just 361 in Q3. 5 states accounted for 69% of these Q3 licenses: New Jersey, Michigan, California, New Mexico, and Maine.

Key Findings

  • New Jersey, Michigan, California, New Mexico, and Maine account for 69% of Q3 licenses.
  • Oklahoma issued only 3 licenses down from 11 in Q2 and 332 in Q1.
  • Two Northeast states, New Jersey and Maine, combined for 38% of all Q3 store licenses.

Here is a look at the five states that have issued at least 100 new store licenses this year graphed against the number of store licenses issued in Q3. It certainly reinforces the fact that Oklahoma has effectively shut things down in terms of new licensure while New Jersey seems to be picking up speed.


In looking across the 1,548 new licenses added YTD, it is interesting to see which companies added stores in the first three quarters. Based on the Cannabiz Media Market Intelligence Platform, here are the 10 companies that added 8 or more licenses YTD 2023:

Finally, the table below shows the final Cannabiz Media tally of dispensary/retail licenses for September 2023.


Overall active store licenses are up less than 2% since the end of Q2. A decline in Oklahoma stores is a factor as the stores decreased from 2,851 in June to 2683 in September – almost a 6% decline. However, we expect an upward trend as newly licensed states expand and as New York supercharges their license issuance. We should also be monitoring New Hampshire’s possible experiment with state-run stores and Mississippi’s independent drugstore scheme.


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 multi-jurisdictional product lines in the securities, corporate, UCC, safety, environmental, and human resource markets.  

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