Cannacurio: Dispensary & Retailer Leaderboard (Q1 2020)


oklahoma dispensary licensesThe first quarter of 2020 is over and retail & dispensary licenses have increased 5.5% with 385 new stores nationwide. Cannabiz Media tracked the newly active dispensary/retailer licenses from 18 states. Oklahoma once again led the pack but the second-place state was a surprise.

Key Findings

new licenses issued in q1

  • Oklahoma leads the nation again with 155 new licenses – more than 4 of every 10 dispensaries in the US can be found in Oklahoma.
  • Michigan came on strong with 69 new licenses, an increase of 31% since Jan 1.
  • Lume Cannabis in Michigan added 8 licenses this quarter while Herbology added 7 in Michigan and North Dakota.

In reviewing the tradenames/companies – there are a few that opened multiple storefronts since the beginning of the year. Two companies with a Michigan presence are in the top two:

Oklahoma continues to be the hotspot for dispensaries in the United States and accounts for 46% of the nation’s dispensaries/retailers. The rate of issuance has stabilized as seen below.


companies with multiple new storefronts


Despite the COVID-19 crisis, states added 115 new dispensaries/retailers in March – down only a few from February. Meanwhile a debate has been raging on in many states as to whether these establishments are critical and whether the industry should even be on the receiving end of any federal bailout funds. In response the National Cannabis Industry Association is working to advocate for the industry during these difficult times and Marijuana Business Daily produced this chart back on April 2 showing which states have allowed marijuana businesses to remain open during coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home orders.

In the meantime the Cannabiz Media team will continue to track these license trends with Q1 cultivation licenses up next 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. Catch up on Cannacurio posts and podcasts for the latest updates and intel. 

By Ed Keating

Ed Keating is a co-founder and Chief Data Officer of Cannabiz Media and oversees our data research and government relations efforts. He has spent his whole career working with and advising information companies in the compliance space. Ed has overseen complex multijurisdictional product lines in the securities, corporate, UCC, safety, environmental and human resource markets and focuses on workflow products over the last twenty five years.  During that time he has worked for both startup and established information companies where he has led marketing, product management and sales organizations.  These companies include Wolters Kluwer/Commerce Clearing House, CT Corporation, EDGAR Online and Business & Legal Reports. 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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