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.