Transitioning to the new rural cannabis economy is a PhD project that aims to understand socioeconomic impacts of recreational cannabis legalization to rural regions of British Columbia (B.C.)
Over the last 50 years rural communities from the Sunshine Coast, Gulf Islands, Fraser Valley, Okanagan and Kootenay region quietly grew into cannabis producing hubs. While the outlaw industry was mostly ignored and excluded from economic contributions up until recently, it has been a significant, yet largely hidden part of the socioeconomic fabric of rural B.C. communities for decades. With the Kootenay region as the case study, the project goal is to evaluate how historically producing rural regions can effectively transition to the new legal cannabis economy.
Questions guiding this project include: To what extent has the cannabis industry supported rural B.C. economies? How will rural communities historically supported by the cannabis industry be impacted socially and economically with legalization of recreational cannabis? Who are the legalization stakeholders and how are they engaging in decision making? 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.