From Medical to Recreational Marijuana: Lessons for States in Transition

Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 575

Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, November 2020

41 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2020

See all articles by Dexter Ridgway

Dexter Ridgway

Ohio State University (OSU)

Jana Hrdinova

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Date Written: November 3, 2020

Abstract

As of October 2020, eleven states and the District of Columbia have undergone a transition from medical to adult-use marijuana regimes navigating the creation of a new industry within a complex and incongruous legal framework. The collective experience of these states has created a wealth of lessons for other states that might legalize adult-use marijuana in the future. Yet not much has been written about the process of transition and how states managed the creation and implementation of the regulatory framework for an emerging industry. This report, which draws on interviews with current and former government officials, aims to fill this gap by documenting lessons learned and decision-making behind the policies that shaped the recreational landscape in four states: Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, and Oregon. The purpose of this research is to provide actionable and concrete advice to states that are transitioning, or are planning for a transition, from a medical marijuana regime to an adult-use or recreational framework. The report highlights major decision points states face in their transitions and the pros and cons of each choice, lessons learned gathered from the participants in our study, and a short discussion of major challenges each state had to face with their respective programs.

Keywords: adult-use marijuana, recreational marijuana, implementation, transition process, governance, lessons learned, best practices, challenges, decision points

Suggested Citation

Ridgway, Dexter and Hrdinova, Jana, From Medical to Recreational Marijuana: Lessons for States in Transition (November 3, 2020). Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 575, Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, November 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3724373 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3724373

Dexter Ridgway

Ohio State University (OSU) ( email )

Blankenship Hall-2010
901 Woody Hayes Drive
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

Jana Hrdinova (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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