Best list for pharmacies and retailers at the end of 2020

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Since the Cannacurio series started last year, the leaderboard blog posts have generated a lot of interest. We have compiled and adjusted the numbers to show what happened in 2020 and focused on the total number of active licenses as this view takes into account canceled and non-renewed licenses.

We started 2020 with 6,578 pharmacy and retail licenses and ended the year with 7,368, an increase of 12%.

The surprising find was the shrinking of licenses in Oklahoma. Sooner state started the year at 2,238 and added 565 new licenses in twelve months. However, the year didn’t end until around 2057. Even stranger as they had issued 565 licenses throughout the year. Oklahoma’s OMMA has given grace period for renewal dates, so we will be closely monitoring this in 2021.

Main results

  • Oklahoma leads the country with 2,057 licenses, down 8% from last year.
  • The “mature markets” in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon remained largely stable.
  • Michigan received the most licenses since last year with a net of 314, while Florida added 96.

The Cannabiz Media Research team rates jurisdictions based on volatility, which is based on the number of licenses generated, the frequency of licensing, and the periodicity. In the tables below I have selected some dormant, mature and growth markets. The difference in the number of licenses granted is quite dramatic:

cannacurio_ # 39_dormant_mature_growth_02-05-21

The dormant states added a total of 7 licenses / 15% growth; 183 for the mature states, an increase of 9%, and a staggering 2,124 new licenses for the growth states at 226%. If we had crossed Oklahoma off this list, the growth would have been 409%!


2021 promises another year of license growth in some markets. Arizona has issued 102 new retail licenses to existing pharmacy license holders, while West Virginia has released its list of 100 approved pharmacies. In my last Cannacurio post, I highlighted states with new or expanded programs where we’re likely to see even more licenses. So look forward to another year of growth.

Cannabiz Media customers can stay up to date on these and other new licenses through our newsletter, alert and reporting modules. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive these weekly reports in your inbox. You can also schedule a demo to learn more about how to access the Cannabiz Media License Database and dig deeper into this data.

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

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