My Academic Research

This page is a repository of my academic writing and conference activities relevant to the marijuana/cannabis industry. I have summarized research produced by other scholars on a separate page.  Updated May 8, 2019.

Current Research Projects

My Colorado Marijuana Market Report

I currently have three academic research projects underway that focus on the marijuana industry:

  1. 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?
  2. The second project examines the industry identity formation process being experienced by the Colorado marijuana industry. What specific stakeholders within business, government and society are having the most impact on industry identity? What different industry identities are being advanced by these stakeholders and how much cohesion or conflict exists among these identities?
  3. The third 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?


In 2014, I published one of the first-ever teaching cases on the marijuana industry in Case Research Journal.

Conference Leadership and Involvement

On April 24, 2018 I was a featured speaker in a half-day conference on Cannabis Legalization hosted by Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Conference registration closes on April 20th.

On March 22-23, 2018 the Daniels College of Business hosted the Minority Cannabis Business Association‘s First Annual Opportunity Summit. I was privileged to lead a three-hour pre-conference Business of Marijuana 101 session that attracted over 40 participants from across the United States. I was also a panelist in a conference session on Market Opportunities.

At the 2018 Sustainability, Ethics and Entrepreneurship Conference in Washington, DC I organized and moderated a panel discussion featuring three cannabis industry leaders – John Kagia of New Frontier Data, Doug Fischer of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses and Gail Rand, CFO and Patient Advocate for ForwardGro, a Maryland medical marijuana cultivation company.


Participants in Cannabis Industry Panel at 2018 SEE Conference, Washington, DC. From left: Gail Rand – ForwardGro, Doug Fischer – NACB, Paul Seaborn – Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, and John Kagia – New Frontier Data.

In late September, 2017 I led a half-day symposium on marijuana legalization at the Atlantic Schools of Business conference, hosted at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.

On April 20, 2016 I participated in a session at the DU Marijuana Summit hosted by the Sturm College of Law entitled “50 Shades of Green” and focused on the business impacts of marijuana. My presentation in the session highlighted the many counter-intuitive strategies being employed by industry participants and examined the forces that will determine whether the industry evolves in a manner similar to breweries/alcohol, tobacco or takes another path. A video of the “50 Shades of Green” session is available online and my slides and comments from this session are available upon request.

At the Academy of Management 2015 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC my Daniels management colleague Aimee Hamilton and I co-organized a showcase symposium titled “High Hopes: Studying the Emergence of the Legitimate Marijuana Industry” focused on academic research related to the marijuana industry with participants from a variety of prominent business schools including the University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, University of Oregon, Pennsylvania State University and Case Western Reserve University.

At the 2015 Strategic Management Society Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, I worked with Eva Yao of University of Colorado and Josh Keller of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore to offer a one-day pre-conference workshop on the Marijuana Industry that included industry and academic panels, keynote speakers and a site-visit to two Denver-area businesses (Dixie Elixirs and Medicine Man). During the SMS conference program I chaired and moderated a showcase panel featuring Tripp Keber, CEO of Dixie Elixirs, Andrew Freedman, Marijuana Coordinator for the State of Colorado, Diane Carlson of social interest group SMART Colorado and Dr. Vioina Rindova of the University of Texas-Austin.

I have also presented on cannabis-related topics at the Industry Studies Conference in Kansas City, Missouri and at the SEE Conference in Denver, Colorado.