It’s been six months since Oklahoma began issuing patient and commercial licenses for medical marijuana. The industry is growing quickly.
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority approved more than 54,000 patient licenses as of February 25. According to OMMA spokesperson Melissa Miller, the agency has periodically shut down phone lines to focus on a backlog of more than 11,000 patient applications.
"So obviously they're the bulk of our total applications….So that's what we're seeing that you know kind of increased volume that we're wanting to kind of address."
On the business side, more than 1,000 dispensary licenses have been approved. Most are located in Oklahoma, Cleveland and Tulsa counties.
More than $12 million has been generated by licensing fees as of the end of January, plus about $375,000 in excise tax. The Oklahoma Tax Commission has yet to calculate sales tax generated by the new industry.
Revenue will finance regulatory costs, and surplus is to be used for education and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.