Dispensary and Retailer Leaderboard Year-End 2020

Since starting the Cannacurio series last year, the leaderboard blog posts have garnered a significant amount of interest. We have been crunching and adjusting the numbers to show what happened in 2020 and focused on the total number of active licenses in effect because this view takes into account terminated and non-renewed licenses.

We started 2020 with 6,578 dispensary and retail licenses and ended the year with 7,368, a 12% increase.

The surprising find was the shrinkage of licenses in Oklahoma. The Sooner State started the year at 2,238 and added 565 new licenses over twelve months, but they ended the year at only 2057. Odder still since they awarded 565 licenses throughout the year. Oklahoma’s OMMA has been forgiving with grace periods on renewal dates, so we will monitor this closely in 2021.

Key Findings

  • Oklahoma, even with a decline of 8% since last year, leads the country with 2,057 licenses.
  • The “mature markets” of Colorado, Washington, and Oregon largely held steady.
  • Michigan gained the most licenses since last year with a net 314 while Florida added 96.

The Cannabiz Media Research team evaluates jurisdictions by volatility that is based on the number of licenses generated, the frequency of license issuance, and the periodicity. In the tables below, I’ve cherry-picked some dormant, mature, and growth markets. The difference in the number of licenses issued is quite dramatic:


The dormant states added a grand total of 7 licenses / 15% growth; 183 for the mature states, which is a 9% increase, and an astounding 2,124 new licenses for the growth states at 226%. If we removed Oklahoma from this list, the growth would have been 409%!


2021 promises to be another year of license growth in some markets. Arizona unleashed 102 new retail licenses to existing dispensary license holders while West Virginia published their list of 100 permitted dispensaries. In my last Cannacurio post, I highlighted states with new or expanded programs where we are likely to see even more licenses, so stay tuned for another growth year.

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.

Cannacurio is a weekly column from Cannabiz Media featuring insights from the most comprehensive license data platform.

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