A number of states may broaden their medical hashish applications this yr via new legal guidelines or regulatory insurance policies, opening the door to further enterprise licenses, extra gross sales for present hashish operators and recent enterprise for ancillary firms.
The enterprise prospects within the eight states listed under may not be as glitzy as new, hundred-million-dollar-plus hashish markets. However they replicate the regular progress of medical marijuana applications throughout the nation.
“Nearly each (MMJ) program has been slowly increasing and bettering,” stated Karen O’Keefe, director of state insurance policies for the Marijuana Coverage Venture. “I believe these traits will proceed.”
A caveat is that even whereas applications enhance, medical marijuana gross sales have a tendency to say no in states that even have leisure markets.
O’Keefe attributed potential medical marijuana growth to state lawmakers who see that the “dire predictions of opponents don’t materialize.”
Lately, quite a few states have boosted MMJ enterprise prospects by including qualifying affected person circumstances and licensing further cultivators, processors and dispensaries to fulfill rising demand.
However in some states, similar to Florida, Maryland and New Jersey, new licensing alternatives have develop into mired in protracted authorized battles.
Even in states the place solely present medical marijuana operators profit from program growth, market development can translate into further enterprise for ancillary firms starting from tools and packaging suppliers to legislation corporations and accountants.
Listed below are the states to keep watch over for doable medical marijuana alternatives in 2020:
Arkansas: State desires present license holders to start operations.
- 2019 dispensary gross sales: $28 million (state information).
- State of the market: Arkansas has licensed 32 dispensaries, however solely 17 had opened their doorways as of early February. Two licensed cultivators haven’t but opened.
- What’s taking place: Medical marijuana regulators, involved about affected person entry and annoyed with delays, just lately awarded a 33rd license to the following highest-ranking applicant within the Pine Bluff area to fulfill demand.
- Potential enterprise impression: Arkansas MMJ spokesman Scott Hardin informed Marijuana Enterprise Each day “it might not be shocking to see further licenses issued.”
Florida: Excessive court docket may open door to stand-alone licenses; edibles a risk.
- 2019 dispensary gross sales: $450 million-$550 million (MJBizDaily estimate).
- State of the market: Florida has 13 energetic vertically built-in operators out of 22 licensed firms, which collectively function 222 dispensaries statewide as of Jan. 31. Trulieve has a 40%-plus market share.
- What’s taking place: The Florida Supreme Courtroom is anticipated to determine this yr on whether or not to interrupt up the state’s vertically built-in licensing construction in order that particular person enterprise permits can be accessible. The state, which has one of many nation’s fastest-growing markets, additionally may lastly challenge guidelines for MMJ edibles gross sales.
- Potential enterprise impression: The state could possibly be compelled to challenge further, stand-alone licenses. Edibles may dramatically change the market panorama and bolster gross sales.
However Sally Peebles, a accomplice with Vicente Sederberg’s Florida legislation workplace, doesn’t anticipate new licensing this yr.
Even when the Florida Supreme Courtroom guidelines that the vertically built-in construction has been unconstitutional, she stated it possible will take the state some time to draft new licensing guidelines and request purposes.
Laws additionally has been launched to take away license limitations, however Peebles considers that effort an extended shot to be handed into legislation this yr.
Iowa: Legislative push to broaden low-THC program.
- 2019 dispensary gross sales: $5 million-$6 million (MJBizDaily estimate).
- State of the market: Iowa has 5 dispensaries and a three% THC cap.
- What’s taking place: Some Democratic lawmakers wish to add qualifying affected person circumstances and dispensaries in addition to eradicate the THC cap. Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, is open to some growth however vetoed a invoice final yr that may have eliminated the THC cap.
- Potential enterprise impression: The market is poised to develop into extra strong, relying on the scope of any growth.
Maryland: Extra licenses mired in litigation.
- 2019 dispensary gross sales: $252 million (state information).
- State of the market: Maryland counted almost 90 dispensaries statewide as of late 2019. Minority-owned companies didn’t win any of the preliminary 15 cultivation licenses, though Maryland legislation required racial range amongst licensees.
- What’s taking place: The state ordered a brand new licensing spherical, which was performed final yr. Greater than 200 candidates competed for 4 cultivation and 10 processing licenses. The awards have been held up by authorized challenges.
- Potential enterprise impression: Extra licenses would bolster market gross sales and competitors.
Minnesota: Licensees press for smokable flower.
- 2019 dispensary gross sales: $35 million-$45 million (MJBizDaily estimate).
- State of the market: This is likely one of the most restrictive medical marijuana applications within the nation with simply two vertically built-in operators: Minnesota Medical Options, owned by multistate operator Vireo Well being, and LeafLine.
- What’s taking place: Minnesota Medical Options and LeafLine are pushing for the legalization of smokable flower, saying it might result in extra inexpensive merchandise.
- Potential enterprise impression: Smokable flower may dramatically improve gross sales in a program that has struggled to be viable.
New Hampshire: Lawmakers may broaden affected person circumstances.
- 2019 dispensary gross sales: $20 million-$25 million (MJBizDaily estimate).
- State of the market: New Hampshire has 4 licensed dispensaries that, due to laws in 2018 and 2019, can open one satellite tv for pc dispensary every.
- What’s taking place: The state Home just lately permitted including insomnia and opioid-use dysfunction to the record of qualifying affected person circumstances, however the measure nonetheless wants Senate approval.
- Potential enterprise impression: New circumstances would possible enhance MMJ gross sales for present operators.
New Jersey: 24 dispensary licenses face authorized challenges.
- 2019 dispensary gross sales: $95 million-$120 million (MJBizDaily estimate).
- State of the market: New Jersey has solely seven dispensaries serving 60,000 sufferers.
- What’s taking place: Increasing the state’s medical marijuana market was Plan B after an effort to legalize adult-use hashish stalled final yr. However 24 further dispensary licenses are being held up due to court docket challenges.
- Potential enterprise impression: Market development might be constrained till new dispensaries come on-line.
Rhode Island: Six new dispensary licenses deliberate.
- 2019 dispensary gross sales: $50 million-$65 million (MJBizDaily estimate).
- State of the market: Rhode Island counts three dispensaries and 51 stand-alone cultivators.
- What’s taking place: The state plans to challenge six further retail-only dispensary licenses.
- Potential enterprise impression: New license alternatives are possible this yr.
Jeff Smith may be reached at [email protected]
Analysis editor Eli McVey contributed to this report.