The Fastest Growing American Cannabis Market Is:
Oklahoma is the state with the fastest growing market for medical marijuana, according to a new analysis.
An average of 641 patients were signing up there each day, and medical marijuana patients made up 4.1 percent of the state’s population.
Fueling the state's growth, according to the report, is the fact that Oklahoma doesn’t have a list of qualifying conditions, meaning doctors can recommend medical cannabis for any condition.
The analysis looked at the 10 states that release quarterly estimates of patient counts.
At least 33 states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana, but it remains illegal at the federal level.
The fragmented way states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana means a hodgepodge of different businesses operating under varying regulations and under bureaucracies that move at different speeds.
Patients in Louisiana, for example, were able to buy medical marijuana for the first time this month, four years after lawmakers OK’d the plan.
Florida has the second fastest growth rate, with an average growth of 609 patients per day, but those patients accounted for a much smaller portion of the state’s population — just 1.6 percent.
Ohio had the third-fastest growth with an average of 282 patients per day, but they made up just 0.4 percent of the state population. The Buckeye State’s program has a list of qualifying conditions for patients and has reportedly been slow to approve dispensaries.
Illinois followed with an average daily patient increase of 187, then Maryland with 125, according to the analysis.
New Mexico had the slowest growth among the states included in the analysis, with an average of just 28 patients per day. Medical marijuana patients make up 3.5 percent of the population there, however, second only to Oklahoma.
Arizona also had a middling growth rate, with an average of 106 patients per day, but had the third-highest percentage of its population signed up for medical pot, with 2.8 percent.
New York, Arkansas and New Jersey each had an average daily patient increase below 70, and medical marijuana patients made up 0.5 or 0.6 of each state’s respective population, the analysis showed.