Fire Leaf dispensary

Fire Leaf employees Steven Reese, left, and Hunter Dougherty work behind the counter at the Norman location, 751 S. Canadian Trails Drive, Suite 120.

After a record-breaking year of revenue for state medical marijuana dispensaries in 2020, the first month of 2021 saw dispensaries continue that trend.

In January, state dispensaries reported more than $78 million in total revenue, which outpaced more than half of the monthly revenue output for dispensaries in 2020, according to data from the Oklahoma Tax Commission. State dispensaries also remitted nearly $6.5 million in city and state sales tax in January.

The latest OTC revenue report always reflects data from two months prior.

However, Norman dispensaries saw a slight dip in revenue in January compared to 2020. According to OTC data, local dispensaries reported $2.54 million in total revenue in January, marking the lowest revenue output since March 2020. Norman Dispensaries remitted $211,000 in city and state sales tax revenue in January.

The number of dispensaries in Norman has remained steady, as the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority reports 63 active dispensaries in Norman as of February.

Moore dispensaries saw its highest revenue output since August of last year, reporting $1.1 million in total revenue.

Eric Powell, budtender at Friendly Market in Norman, said the dispensary has noticed that revenue has remained steady compared to 2020.

“We also do patient drives at our store, so we’ve seen a lot of people renewing their licenses and it’s remained at a steady pace,” Powell said. “At each patient drive, we’ve had about 10 more patients sign up compared to the previous drive. If the state ever passes recreational [marijuana], I think it will uptick even more.”

This week marked the beginning of the state marijuana industry’s transition to a new seed-to-sale online tracking program. Metrc, a regulatory cannabis system working with the OMMA, began training and registering dispensaries across the state in the new program on March 1.

The new seed-to-sale system will allow the OMMA and marijuana businesses to track and ensure the quality of marijuana products from a plant’s growth stage until it’s sold to a patient. The OMMA and marijuana businesses will have access to the online system operated by Metrc, which will let them monitor the processing, testing and sale of individual marijuana products.

Powell said he’s confident the program will significantly help dispensaries track products.

“It’s definitely going to be a lot easier to track product and ensure you’re getting good, quality product. If there is anything wrong, [we’ll] be able to track to where we got it from and actually be able to nip it in the bud, for lack of a better phrase, before it gets any worse. I think Metrc’s going to make it more of a streamlined process.”

Powell said another potential benefit will be the transition away from paper to digital records. The state’s previous tracking system relied on paper certificates of analysis from testing laboratories, which made it difficult to validate the results, OMMA director Kelly Williams said during a Zoom conference with reporters last week.

“If your clientele’s looking for a specific strand, you know exactly where to find it by looking at your previous orders, instead of it being kind of a cluster before and having to keep up with all your invoices,” Powell said.

Training is required for all marijuana businesses prior to credentialing in order to gain access to the Metrc system, according to the OMMA website, and training must be completed by March 26. For more information, visit oklahoma.gov/omma or metrc.com

Jesse Crittenden

366-3540

Follow me @jcritt31

jcrittenden@normantranscript.com

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