It feels like Oklahoma’s medical marijuana market is really starting to hit its stride. We have reasonable prices, plenty of options and prospects for growth that can only be compared to…well…weed. With the future in mind and a new decade to fill with cannabis goodness, here are seven trends we expect to see in Oklahoma in 2020.
1. The Great Med/Rec Divide
2020 is already off to a strange start. Think of it: We have a bunch of stoners unanimously saying “Don’t legalize it!” This is exactly what’s happening, as the petition co-authored by ACLU head honcho Ryan Keisel to legalize recreational marijuana has been filed, withdrawn and then refiled again — all in a 12-day period. Medical marijuana OGs oppose the petition(s) for recreational marijuana, and it kind of feels like a weird scenario where the good guys are fighting the good guys and both sides are right.
2. The Rise of Ancillary Cannabis Businesses
Expect to see a creative partnerships and diversification of the types of businesses willing to put their money into the cannabis industry. This is already beginning to happen. Case in point: The Gypsy Coffee House in Tulsa. They partnered with shared-wall dispensary, Eufloria, to introduce a cannabis-friendly social environment where patients can buy overpriced artisanal tea, pop into the dispensary side to purchase an overpriced artisanal pre-roll and consume both on the same property. We may not have flying cars, but 2020 is the future.
3. Actual Top Shelf Weed
Get ready for truly exceptional flower, as Oklahoma growers hit their collective stride. This will be the case for all cannabis products, as average quality continues to rise. Gone will be the days of walking into a dispensary full of cannabis and not smelling cannabis! I have high hopes that by the end of 2020, even the bottomest of the bottom shelves will be worth smoking!
4. Out-of-State Corporate Consolidation
It’s was naive to think the Oklahoma cannabis market would remain the exclusive domain of local medical marijuana pioneers; that just isn’t how this particularly strong marijuana-infused cookie is gonna crumble. It’s already happening with dispensaries like Rabbit Hole, whose OKC locations were taken over by Origins Cannabis, a Washington-based dispensary chain, and we expect this trend to pick up pace.
A couple of us recently visited the new Origins dispensary on N. Meridian Ave. in OKC and were struck by the refined, well-polished, cannabis buying experience. The shop setup was unlike anything we had experienced in Oklahoma, and it made finding the right cannabis for the right reason super simple. That being said, I expect to see corporate consolidation push-back from Oklahomans who want to Keep it Local.
5. More Emphasis on Customer Loyalty Programs
I, like many of you, have gone through just about every “first time” patient deal at every shop in my city. Dispensaries are painfully aware of how fickle we can be; I predict a move in emphasis from patient acquisition to patient retention. Deep down, aren’t we all looking for a ride or die? A one-time rendezvous with a free pre-roll ain’t gonna cut it. Wine and dine me, tell me I’m alarmingly handsome, then GIVE ME THEM LOYALTY POINTS! GIVE ME THAT BOGO 50% OFF CARD EVERY TIME I VISIT. We are seeing savvy dispensaries starting to do all of that to keep their customers from answering the siren song of the “new-patient deal.”
6. Much Cheaper Card Renewals
I just spent an hour destroying my house to find the remote and can’t remember what I wanted to watch — I know the struggle to remember is real. But try to recall how expensive the first physician recommendation clinics were! Some of us paid $250 to get that doctor signature ASAP. Good news: Your renewal won’t cut into your weed budget so badly! We are regularly seeing prices as low as $60 for recommendations, and many clinics offered discounted renewals as part of their initial reco. I do imagine, however, that we’ll be here later this year reporting on how OMMA bungled the processing of the 5% of the state population that tried to renew their med cards at roughly the same time.
7. Proliferation of Super Specific Products
2020, will bring Oklahoma some incredibly specific cannabis products. Anyone who’s been to Colorado knows that if something can be done, it can be done with cannabis. Fingers crossed, that’s going to be us very soon! Need a bacon-flavored, cannabis-based personal lubricant? What about a vegan, gluten-free edible that slaps like the switches your grandma used to make you pull off the tree in the yard? Oklahoma will have you covered!
Whatever 2020 brings us, one thing is certain: It will be cannabis-infused.