This is a PhD project that aims to understand some socioeconomic impacts of recreational cannabis legalization, and how historically cannabis producing rural regions within British Columbia can effectively transition to the new rural economy.

Over the last 40 years or more, rural communities from the coastal islands, Fraser Valley, Okanagan and Kootenay region have become multi-generational cannabis producing areas.  While the cannabis industry was largely ignored and excluded from GDP contributions up until recently, it has been a significant, yet largely hidden component of the socioeconomic fabric of rural B.C. communities for decades.  With the Kootenay region as the case study, the project goal is to understand how historically producing rural regions can effectively transition to the legalized rural economy.

Questions guiding this project include:  To what extent has the cannabis industry supported rural B.C. economies? How will rural communities that have been supported by the cannabis industry be impacted both socially and economically with legalization of recreational cannabis?  Who are the legalization stakeholders and how are they engaging in decision making? How are stakeholders interacting and responding to this policy change?  What training and education is needed for the rural workforce in response to legalization?  What barriers exist for current cannabis industry participants to transition into the legalized regime? What opportunities and challenges come with legalization?

This project used Thoughtexchange to gather preliminary data for this project, which will be translated into consumable briefs over the next short while, with more primary data collection methods to follow.

You can optionally download a one-page project fact sheet: Research Fact Sheet – Cannabis Research 2018.

Please contact me if you have a story to share or are interested in being involved.

4 thoughts on “PhD Project Introduction

  1. I really want to continue producing high quality organically grown cannabis , we really want to be fairly included and not have obstacles but help to transition.This is my culture and my lively hood and 1000,s of other families are in the same position.We have created communities in the underground, beceause we were forced to do so . Much of the profits benefit all the stores around our communities and towns , the ski hills ,the restaurants, it’s the trickle down effect everyone supports everyone in a way. If we are kept out , and we are not allowed to be included, this whole region could really be hurt. How do we create healthy communities? By supporting each other and keeping profits in the communities .


    1. Hi Mark,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. If you are interested in sharing more with me in a one-on-one interview, please send an email to and I will follow up with you. If you haven’t yet shared your thoughts in the exchange, I urge you to do so and to also rate other people’s shared thoughts to help us develop a better understanding of people’s priorities and their importance. Your ideas on the opportunities and solutions would be particularly great to share there since few have been shared thus far.


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