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UHC Researchers Win Pilot Funding to Develop a Nationwide Database of Marijuana Dispensaries

Green cross sign indicating cannabis dispensary

June 22, 2023

Stephen Dickinson, PhD, a project manager with the Urban Health Collaborative, was recently awarded pilot funding from the Drexel University Medical Cannabis Research Center to create a database of marijuana dispensaries in the United States in order to better understand the relationship of these businesses to the neighborhoods where they are located. Although the sale of marijuana and cannabis products is now legal in many states, Black and Latino communities do not consistently experience the economic benefits from these dispensaries or lowered risks for incarceration on marijuana-related charges. This work will allow researchers to track trends in the geographic distribution of dispensaries and their effects on neighborhoods, particularly the low-income communities and communities of color where dispensaries tend to be clustered.

“Our main objective is to understand where marijuana dispensaries are, specifically related to the relationship between the locations of dispensaries and the demographics of the neighborhoods where they are located,” says Dr. Dickinson. “Our long-term goal is to find ways in which marginalized communities are not further disadvantaged by drug policies as legalization continues to expand.”

Dr. Dickinson will be supported by UHC researchers and analysts Jana Hirsch, PhD, MES, Loni Philip Tabb, PhD, MS, Stephen Francisco, PSM, and Reyhaneh A. Yazdi, MS.

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