Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Mark Schlesinger

Second Advisor

Shelley Geballe


The process of creating new policy is frequently dependent on knowledge and study of precedent, which in turn, helps influence future strategy. In the case of legal cannabis state industries, there is much to be learned from policy mistakes made in how other states managed cannabis legalization. As such, these mistakes leave gaps in policy, which pose a threat to the rationality of the legal industry and set poor precedent for future efforts. In turn, the goal of this paper is to identify gaps in cannabis policy and highlight what should be seen as benchmark policy for further industry developments. Specifically the topics touched on will include: locality referendums, problems with access in legal markets, criminalization policy, justice for past convictions, industry diversity, issues in cannabis taxation, cannabis concentrate/extract policy, CBD regulation, bank access policy, uses in the opioid epidemic, health issues in cannabis vaping, and medical cannabis insurance. Providing insight into these topics is important, as any legalization effort undertaken should not be applauded just for its initiation. As such, moving towards incorporating benchmark policies into the coming legalization efforts is key, as the process of rationalizing cannabis continuously moves forward.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access