Cannacurio #94: Best list for cultivation 2024 Q1

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Following our recent review of dispensaries and retailers, we now look at cultivation licenses for the first quarter of 2024. These “census” snapshots, derived from our Cannabiz Business Intelligence platform, show where new licenses are being created. Due to moratoriums and market pressures, the number of new cultivation licenses is declining in most jurisdictions.

  1. Regulators issued just 289 cultivation licenses in the first quarter, down slightly from 277 in the fourth quarter of 2023
  2. California, Michigan and New Jersey accounted for 66% of new cultivation licenses
  3. The total number of cultivation licenses in Oklahoma fell by 660 during the quarter – a decrease of 14%
  4. Several major growing states have licensing moratoriums in effect

The table below is a quarter-end snapshot of new cultivation licenses added monthly for the top five states this year. California and Michigan have been at the top of this ranking alongside Oklahoma for years. The full list of issuing states can be found on our Cannabis Market Intelligence platform

The table below compares the number of new cultivation licenses in the first quarter of the last four years. Moratoriums in Oregon and Oklahoma have certainly driven this trend – as has general oversupply in many markets.


In addition to tracking licenses, Cannabiz Media also tracks facilities, which we define as companies with multiple licenses in one location. This can help better leverage sales and marketing opportunities, as a company may have sixty or more licenses in California. The chart below shows the relationship between licenses and facilities over the last 12 months. The line chart shows the average licenses per facility decreasing from 1.96 to 1.7 over this period. Part of this decline is due to the Large Indoor and Large Outdoor licenses issued in the last fifteen months. It appears that only five were added this quarter, but they can be used to aggregate many small licenses.


The history in OK has been well documented in this blog. Between the licensing moratorium and increased enforcement, the trend continued to be downward.

The rankings below show the top 5 states in total and the number of cultivation licenses we track. The national total decreased by 888 (-4.3%) compared to the end of 2023. The full list of issuing states is available on our Cannabis Market Intelligence platform

The vast majority of cultivation licenses are still concentrated in a handful of states. California, Oklahoma, Michigan, Oregon and Washington account for 77%. This oversupply continues to feed into the unlicensed market, which finds its way into states with and without cannabis programs. Regulators are trying to address these oversupply issues:

  • The Vermont Cannabis Control Board has indefinitely closed the application deadline for all types of Tier 3 cultivation licenses and mixed Tier 2 licenses, effective midnight April 1.
  • The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) has released some new guidelines for cannabis growers following the passage of SB-833. Among other things, California will allow cannabis growers to reduce their canopy size, thereby reducing licensing costs.
  • Moratoriums are in place until 2026 in Oklahoma and indefinitely in Oregon.

Stay tuned to see whether other states will follow these approaches or develop other measures to combat oversupply.

Cannabiz Media customers can stay up to date on these and other new licenses through our newsletter, alerts and reporting modules. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive these weekly reports straight to your inbox. Or you can schedule a demo to get more information about how you can access the Cannabiz media license database yourself and dive deeper into this data.

Ed Keating is co-founder of Cannabiz Media and oversees the company's data research and government relations. Throughout his career, he has worked with and advised information companies in the compliance area. Ed has led product, marketing and sales while overseeing complex, multi-country product lines in securities, corporate, UCC, security, environmental and human resources.

At Cannabiz Media, Ed enjoys the challenge of working with regulators around the world as he and his team collect corporate, financial and licensing information to track the people, products and companies in the cannabis economy.

Ed graduated from Hamilton College and received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Northwestern University.

Cannacurio is a column from Cannabiz Media featuring insights from the most comprehensive licensing data platform. Check out Cannacurio posts and podcasts for the latest updates and information.

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