State Says Oklahoma's Medical Marijuana Supply Far Exceeds Demand

Oklahoma's regulatory agency for the state's medical marijuana program said the supply of medical cannabis greatly exceeds the demand.

Thursday, June 22nd 2023, 6:52 pm

By: Chris Yu


Oklahoma's regulatory agency for the state's medical marijuana program said the supply of medical cannabis greatly exceeds the demand.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) said it commissioned a study, conducted by Cannabis Public Policy Consulting, which shows that 64 grams of regulated medical marijuana are supplied in the state for every gram of demand for a licensed patient. According to the study, a 2:1 ratio is considered a healthy market. This means that Oklahoma has 32 times more regulated medical marijuana than necessary, the OMMA said.

"When we first got the numbers, it was absolutely a little surprising," said OMMA Executive Director Adria Berry. "We knew there was a problem with oversupply in Oklahoma. But we weren't sure how big the problem was, which was why we commissioned this study."

Berry said when State Question 788 passed in 2018, legalizing medical marijuana, there were no production management tools that put a limit on the number of plants grown per site or the number of grow facilities in the state.

Berry said the OMMA is concerned that the oversupply may cause cannabis to go into the illicit market in Oklahoma or leave the state illegally.

"If it's grown in Oklahoma, it can only be sold in Oklahoma. So there's no interstate commerce allowed if it's being legally sold," said Berry. "So we got to figure out where these products are going... Right now, it is a federally-illegal substance."

The OMMA has begun taking a multi-pronged approach to address the oversupply of medical marijuana so it aligns more with the demand, Berry said.

"In our strategic response, we lay out our eight enforcement initiatives that we've already started on," said Berry. "We're also working with the Legislature on some policy ideas and we're working on stakeholder engagement so that we can work with the industry but also with Oklahomans across the state."

Berry said the OMMA will work to ensure compliance inspectors look for specific things during inspections, such as making sure metric tags are in place and match up with the state's database and its seed-to-sale tracking system.

Berry said another surprising number from the study is that 43 percent of cannabis consumed by Oklahomans came from illicit sources. She said patients oftentimes gift their medical cannabis to non-licensed individuals. The OMMA is considering tightening the gifting rules, said Berry.

Click here to read the full study.

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