Cannacurio #89: Manufacturing 2023 Year-End Leaderboard


In the last of our 2023 license recaps, we turn to manufacturing, the least volatile of the three we cover. At Cannabiz Media we classify a manufacturer as a license-holder who processes marijuana-infused products, such as edibles or concentrates, but do not cultivate or sell to customers (flower in, product out). Cannabis manufacturing licenses are issued at a slower pace than cultivation or retail licenses.  

However, they serve as important assets for companies because the products are often powerful brands. These brands, unlike license assets, can cross state lines and help well-established companies thrive and build market share. They are also useful for the license holder as these facilities can be used for white-label production – therefore expanding the value of the asset.  

Key Findings

  • 744 new manufacturing licenses were issued in 2023, down from 1,398 in 2022 (-46%)
  • Oklahoma led and issued 246 licenses (33%), and Michigan was a distant second at 96 (13.3%)
  • The number of manufacturers was largely stable at 6,085, only up .03% from last year.

As we see with other activities, most new licenses were issued by a handful of states. 5 states issued 71% of all new licenses, down from 85% last year. Oklahoma, Michigan, New Jersey, Washington, and California sat atop the leaderboard. The following graph shows states that issued at least 10 new manufacturing licenses last year. The table displays all states.


Here’s the Leaderboard showing total manufacturing licenses by state for year-end 2023.  It is virtually unchanged from a year ago:


Once again, the manufacturing licenses remain the least volatile activity in terms of license counts. The total difference YOY was a net gain of only 22 licenses. Moreover, there were only 744 added withone-third coming from Oklahoma. However, once the Sooner State’s moratorium kicked in, the number of new OK licenses dropped to 11 for the last nine months of the year. With the moratorium extended, and the increased scrutiny from regulators and law enforcement, we will likely see an overall reduction in 2024.


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.

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