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California Adds 6421 Cannabis Licenses in First Half of 2018

California Marijuana Licenses Grow by 402% in the First Six Months of 2018

Guest post by Ed Keating, Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer at Cannabiz Media

During the first six months of 2018, since California began issuing temporary marijuana licenses for adult-use cannabis, the number of granted licenses jumped from 1,272 licenses on January 17th to 6,421 licenses on June 30th. That’s a growth rate of 405%!

According to the Cannabiz Media research team, which tracks marijuana licenses across the United States and Canada in the Cannabiz Media License Database, the growth rate was significantly higher during the first quarter of 2018 (322%) compared to the second quarter of the year (20%), but the team explains that numbers don’t tell the full story at first glance.

During the second quarter of 2018, California changed the rules related to how temporary marijuana licenses were granted. Prior to May 2018, applicants were required to obtain separate licenses to conduct medicinal and adult-use marijuana activity. New rules released in May allowed applicants to complete one application and obtain a single license to conduct both medicinal and adult-use cannabis activity. As a result, the license growth rate during May and June was only 6%. Had adult-use and medicinal licenses still be granted separately, the growth rate would have looked much higher.

The number of cultivation licenses grew the most during the first six months of 2018 (1001% growth). Distributor and delivery licenses grew at similar rates (263% and 252%, respectively) followed by manufacturing licenses with a 175% growth rate and microbusiness licenses with a 160% growth rate. Retail/dispensary licenses grew by 113%, and testing licenses grew by 107%. California began issuing event licenses in May 2018, and by the end of June, 64 event licenses had been granted.

The data also shows that California dominates the U.S. marijuana market accounting for 40% of active marijuana licenses nationwide. In total, 100% of microbusiness and event licenses are in California as are 75% of distributor licenses. The state also accounts for 48% of all cultivation licenses in the country, 41% of delivery licenses, 29% of manufacturing licenses, 22% of testing licenses, and 20% of retail/dispensary licenses.

To see the data visually, take a look at the infographic from Cannabiz Media:


About the author:

Ed Keating is a co-founder 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. Ed has spent the last twenty five years in the information industry. 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 country 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. He has been active with the Software & Information Industry Association for his whole career and managed the Content Division for six years.

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