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Cannabis Legalization and its Effects on Organized Crime: Lessons and Research Recommendations from Canada

In October 2018, Canada legalized and regulated its entire recreational cannabis supply chain via the Cannabis Act. One of the objectives of this new policy was to take revenue away from organized crime groups. Five years after the Cannabis Act went into effect, we address ...

Published onJun 11, 2024
Cannabis Legalization and its Effects on Organized Crime: Lessons and Research Recommendations from Canada
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Abstract

In October 2018, Canada legalized and regulated its entire recreational cannabis supply chain via the Cannabis Act. One of the objectives of this new policy was to take revenue away from organized crime groups. Five years after the Cannabis Act went into effect, we address the following question: what do we know about the impacts of cannabis regulation on organized crime? A review of the gray and academic literature revealed that there is little and inconclusive research on the matter, as well as a lack of diverse and relevant data sources from which to draw conclusions. Using Canadian and international literature, we developed recommendations for indicators that could be used to assess such impacts. These indicators could be particularly useful for policymakers and researchers in countries that have yet to regulate cannabis to allow for pre- and post-legalization comparisons.

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