To date, scholarly academic research on business and management aspects of the cannabis/marijuana industry has been limited. This is not surprising given the relatively slow pace of academic research and its acceptance of new topics and domains. Below I have tried to summarize available published and working papers as well as highlighting academic articles based on other industries that have insights for the cannabis industry. Suggestions for additions are always welcome. Last updated: October 1, 2022.
My Academic Research
Journal of Cannabis Research – I served as the first section editor for business, commerce and the environment at this open-access journal when it first began.
In 2021, I published an article in The Conversation, titled “What the United States can learn from Canada’s Cannabis Clarity” with Canadian professor Michael Armstrong.
In 2021, I published an article with a group of legal scholars that provides an overview of the legal standing of cannabis and offers suggestions for future U.S. federal policy. Cannabis at the Crossroads: A Transdisciplinary Analysis and Policy Prescription (SSRN Version)
In 2020, I published a book chapter on the Business of Cannabis for a textbook on Understanding Medical Cannabis.
In 2018, I published an article in The Conversation, titled “Sessions’ war on pot could speed up marijuana legalization nationwide”.
In 2014, I published one of the first-ever teaching cases on the marijuana industry in Case Research Journal – Medical Marijuana Industry Group: Outdoor Advertising in Denver (Available from Harvard Business School Publishing, The Case Centre,
I currently have two academic research projects in various stages of development that focus on the marijuana industry:
- The first project examines the corporate political activity of the individuals and companies involved in the marijuana industry. Do the campaign contributions of industry participants follow the patterns seen in other industries or are they influenced by unique factors such as the social justice impacts of this new industry?
- The second project examines the evolution of the marijuana industry’s structure in terms of both expansion, consolidation, geographic location, etc. To what extent is the industry’s evolution following the pattern of other industries such as tobacco, alcohol, or pharmaceutical drugs, and what is unique about this evolution?
Scholarly Academic Articles on Marijuana Legalization and Marijuana Business
- Assessment of Recreational Cannabis Dispensaries’ Compliance With Underage Access and Marketing Restrictions in California (JAMA Pediatrics, Aug 2021)
- Frenemy Federalism (University of Richmond Law Review, Forthcoming) – Examines the relationship between U.S. federal and state marijuana laws
- Cannabis Legalization and Social Equity: Some Opportunities, Puzzles, and Trade-Offs (Boston University Law Review, Vol 101, July 2021)
- Breaking Bad: An Investment in Cannabis (Finance Research Letters, March 2020)
- Recreational Marijuana Laws and Junk Food Consumption: Evidence Using Border Analysis and Retail Sales Data (SSRN Working Paper, 2019)
- Getting High and Low Prices: Marijuana Dispensaries and Home Values (Working Paper, Justin Tyndall, Assistant Professor, Hawaii, UBC PhD, May 2019)
- An overview of health and safety in the Colorado cannabis industry (American Journal of Industrial Medicine, June 2018)
- Legalization of Retail Marijuana in Colorado Had Positive Impact on Property Values in Denver (Sept 2017)
- The Effects of Marijuana Liberalizations: Evidence from Monitoring the Future (2017 NBER Working Paper)
- Pricing Conflict: Legal Regimes, Uncertainty, and Prices in Medical Marijuana Markets(2017 Working Paper by Cyrus Dioun and Heather Haveman)
- Marijuana Appellations: The Case for Cannabicultural Designations of Origin (2017 Law Review Article)
- Evaluating the Public Safety Effects of Colorado’s Amendment 64, Which Legalized Marijuana for Recreational Use (Student paper at Simon Fraser University)
- The Taxation of Recreational Marijuana: Evidence from Washington State (University of Oregon working paper)
- Dose of Reality: The Effect of State Marijuana Legalizations (CATO Institute, Sept 2016)
- Issues in the implementation and evolution of the commercial recreational cannabis market in Colorado (International Journal of Drug Policy, January 2016)
- A Liberalised Model for the Legislation of Cannabis in New Zealand (Law Dissertation 2016)
- Legalizing Marijuana in California: A Review of Policy Considerations (The Law and Policy Lab, Stanford Law School, 2015)
- Marijuana in the Workplace: Guidance for Occupational Health Professionals and Employers (Workplace Health & Safety, April 2015)
- Legally regulated cannabis markets in the US: Implications and possibilities (Swansea University, UK 2013)
- IN THE WEEDS: A TAXING VALUES CONUNDRUM (Darden Publishing0
Management Scholars Active in Scholarly Research on Cannabis
- Kisha Lashley, Assistant Professor, McIntire College of Business, University of Virginia
- Cyrus Dioun, Assistant Professor, CU-Denver (LinkedIn Profile)
- Greta Hsu, Professor, UC-Davis
- Richard Wang, Assistant Professor, Babson College
- Andrew Schnackenberg, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver
Non-Management Scholars Active in Scholarly Research on Cannabis
- Jack Strauss, Miller Chair of Applied Economics, Daniels College of Business (has conducted multiple market studies estimating the economic impact of Colorado dispensaries and municipal regulations)
- Sam Kamin at the Sturm College of Law holds a chaired position in marijuana law and policy and has been extensively involved in the regulatory process in Colorado. (April 2020 DU Podcast)
- Andrew Matranga is a DU professor who has offered a journalism course on the industry and follows industry media developments closely.
- Donald Burnes, Founder of the Burnes Center on Homelessness and Poverty has studied the issue of how the cannabis industry is affecting homelessness in Colorado.
- Gwen Fisher, Associate Professor, I/O Program Coordinator and Director, Occupational Health Psychology Concentration, Colorado State University
- Maggie Davidson, Lecturer, Environmental Health and Management,
Natural Science (SoSH), Western Sydney University
- Justin Tyndall, Assistant Professor, Economics, University of Hawaii
Other Relevant Academic Articles From Non-Cannabis Settings
- Dobbin, Frank, and Timothy J. Dowd. (1997). How policy shapes competition: Early railroad foundings in Massachusetts. Administrative Science Quarterly 42(3): 501-529. Implications for Cannabis Industry: Insight into how government policy affects market competition within regulated industries.
- Furr and Kapur (2017). Capabilities, technologies, and firm exit during industry shakeout: Evidence from the global solar photovoltaic industry. Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming.
- Hamm, J. 2002. Why Entrepreneurs Don’t Scale. Harvard Business Review, December 2002. 110-115. Implications for Cannabis: The traits that make some entrepreneurs/founders successful during the start-up phase of their companies may not be well-suited to continued growth.
- King A. A., Lenox M. J. 2000. Industry self-regulation without sanctions: The chemical industry’s responsible care program. Academy of Management Journal, 43: 698–716. Implications for Cannabis Industry: Industry self-regulatory programs can have important benefits but require careful coordination by competing firms.
- Macher, Jeffrey & Mayo, John. (2014). Influencing Public Policymaking: Firm-, Industry- And Country-Level Determinants. Strategic Management Journal. 36.
- Moeen, M. (2017), Entry into Nascent Industries: Disentangling a Firm’s Capability Portfolio at the Time of Investment Versus Market Entry. Strat. Mgmt. J, 38: 1986–2004. Implications for Cannabis Industry: Highlights importance of integrative capabilities to attract investment that allows for later market entry.
- Wry, T., Lounsbury, M., & Glynn, M. A. (2011). Legitimating nascent collective identities: Coordinating cultural entrepreneurship. Organization Science, 22(2), 449-463.
University Research Centers
- Institute of Cannabis Research – CSU-Pueblo (Multi-disciplinary focus)
- Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research – University California-San Diego
- Health Research Chair in the Social Impact of Cannabis/Marijuana Use – St. Thomas University (New Brunswick, Canada)
- Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research
- Institute for Cannabis Research, Policy, & Workforce Development – Rowan University (NJ)
- UCLA Cannabis Research Institute (Medical focus)
- UC-Irvine’s Center for the Study of Cannabis (Multi-disciplinary focus)
- Guelph Centre for Cannabis Research – University of Guelph, Canada
- Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research – McMaster University, Canada
- A New Center at CSU Aims to Unlock the Secrets of CBD (5280 Magazine, November 22, 2021)
- Cannabis investor donates $9M to Harvard, MIT for marijuana research (Fox News, April 30, 2019)