A Conceptual Framework for State Efforts to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis
When drafting, evaluating and implementing cannabis reform policies, policymakers face a myriad of detailed choices, from specific agency authority to issues like tracking and testing. While these details are often overlooked by many advocates and media, they can actually mean the difference between policy implementation success or failure. Most states have stumbled and seen early hiccups in their regulated marijuana markets. Nevada, for instance, suffered a dearth of licensed distributors who could legally transport marijuana products from commercial cultivation facilities to dispensaries within the first few months of its program, resulting in sharp price increases and lack of availability. Both Colorado and Washington experienced delays, inefficiencies, cost overruns and revenues falling short of projections, resulting in a rollback of some of their more onerous initial mandates.