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Following up on our recent review of dispensaries and retailers, we now delve into cultivation licenses. These “census” snapshots are derived from our Cannabiz Business Intelligence platform where we track new license issuance and where the balance of power is from market to market. Over the last ten years, customers have used this information for go-to-market strategies, competitive assessments, and TAM analyses.
The rate of new license issuance is drastically down from past years. We tallied only 2,253 new licenses being issued last year compared to 6,010 in 2022. In 2021 that number was 9,010! There are a number of factors that can explain this:
The following table is the year-end snapshot of new cultivation licenses added by month last year. Michigan surged to the top of the Leaderboard in 2023 and added more than the next two states combined (CA and OK). Vermont rounded out the top four with 217 new licenses.
In looking at the month-to-month issuance, there has definitely been a downward trend – really driven by the larger issuing states:
As we discussed in past posts, regulatory changes have had an impact on new and existing cultivation licenses.
The table below is a snapshot of the total cultivation licenses by state as of December 2023. 6 states account for just about 83% of the total licenses: California, Oklahoma, Michigan, Oregon, Colorado and Washington. Last year those same 6 states accounted for 90%.
The rate of license issuance dropped drastically, and total licenses are down as well. Cannabiz Media has also tracked a reduction in the number of farms nationwide. There are a multitude of reasons for this with oversupply and legacy market likely at the top of the list. With each state functioning as a siloed market, this phenomenon will continue.
As the Northeast slowly comes online – we expect to see more licenses being issued. Two states we will monitor include Vermont, which is temporarily halting the issuance of new licenses for large-scale cannabis growers in a bid to protect smaller, local cultivators; and New Hampshire exploring distribution similar to their state’s liquor program.
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 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.
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.