Helping States Make Data-Driven Decisions About Cannabis Legalization: Forecasting Impacts and Assessing Equity in Regulatory Practices

Helping States Make Data-Driven Decisions About Cannabis Legalization: Forecasting Impacts and Assessing Equity in Regulatory Practices

Published: Jul 12, 2021
Publisher: Mathematica

As more states legalize marijuana for full adult (recreational) use through ballot initiatives or legislation, policymakers and stakeholders are looking to better understand the economic, public health, and public safety impacts of legalization. States legalizing adult-use marijuana also need to decide how to license cannabis businesses in a way that is equitable; many states seek to award licenses to members of communities that have been disproportionately burdened by the criminalization of cannabis. Mathematica researchers conduct rigorous mixed-methods analyses of secondary data to help states anticipate the impacts of cannabis legalization. We can also assess the relationship between the regulatory environment, such as licensing schemes for cannabis businesses, and diversity among license holders to help states achieve an equitable cannabis market.

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