The availability of marijuana products is becoming increasingly prevalent across the United States (US), many states are allowing for the production, processing, and retailing of these products for medical and/or recreational use. The purpose of this study is to: (1) examine the spatial patterning of marijuana licenses, and (2) examine the impact of alcohol outlets in addition to other neighborhood characteristics on marijuana licenses within the state of Washington.
This cross-sectional observational study examined 1458 census tracts in Washington state from 2017, using marijuana and alcohol data from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board as well as neighborhood characteristics data from the American Community Survey 2011-2015 5-year estimates. We used exploratory and formal spatial regression methods, including integrated nested Laplace approximation within a Bayesian statistical framework, to address the study aims.
Our results indicate there is significant spatial patterning of marijuana producers and processors across the state. We also found that all marijuana licenses are located in poorer census tracts, and marijuana retailers are co-located in census tracts with off-premises alcohol outlets.
Our study provides empirical evidence of the relationship between marijuana licenses, alcohol outlets, and neighborhood characteristics, and has important implications for policymakers in other states currently considering legalizing marijuana-products for medical and/or recreational use.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Alcohol; Marijuana; Neighborhoods; Spatial patterning; Washington
- PMID: 29471225
- DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.01.004