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Of the three most common cannabis licenses, manufacturing licenses are the least prone to volatile swings. At the end of Q3, there were 6,304 manufacturing licenses in the database at 5,771 facilities. At the end of Q1 we tracked 6,200 licenses at 5,933 facilities. Cannabiz Media categorizes a license as a manufacturer if it fits the following description: License is for the processing or manufacturing of marijuana-infused products, such as edibles or concentrates.
In Q3 2023 we tracked sixteen states issuing manufacturing licenses. The complexion really changes with the decline in Oklahoma which has accounted for the majority of these licenses for several years.
In the graph below we can see that the number of new licenses issued this year has declined. The Oklahoma moratorium is the biggest factor:
In looking at the total licenses in effect in the graph below, the number of manufacturing licenses has stayed within a pretty narrow range of 6,200 to 6,300.
Licensed cannabis manufacturers are not immune to the challenges facing the industry. These include consolidation, price compression, federal illegality, and challenges raising capital to name a few. According to a recent market update from Headset, inhalable cannabis products, particularly flowers and vapes, are still the dominant choice across states. However, Colorado's significant preference for non-inhalable products signals varied consumer behaviors and opportunities in product diversification. It would seem that the manufacturing segment is well poised to grow with industry as product choice and form expand.
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.
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.
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Cannacurio is a weekly column from Cannabiz Media featuring insights from the most comprehensive cannabis market intelligence platform. Catch up on Cannacurio posts and podcasts for the latest updates and intel.