J Cannabis Res. 2022 Apr 11;4(1):18. doi: 10.1186/s42238-022-00120-5.
BACKGROUND: Cannabis social equity programs intend to redress inequities experienced by low income and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) during cannabis prohibition in the United States. In Los Angeles County (LA), the approach is to increase cannabis outlet licensure and employment for low income and BIPOC communities. Monitoring locations of both licensed and unlicensed outlets over time is critical to informing how local social equity programs may affect communities.
METHODS: We identified locations of licensed and unlicensed cannabis outlets in LA, from February to April 2019 and again from March to April 2020, and calculated the number and type of outlets by socio-demographic characteristics of census tracts (race/ethnicity, poverty, education, unemployment) using the 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.
RESULTS: Licensed outlets increased in LA from 162 in 2019 to 195 in 2020; unlicensed outlets decreased from 286 to 137 over the same time period. In 2020, more licensed outlets were in tracts with majority white residents and adults with at least a bachelor’s degree; fewer licensed outlets were in tracts with larger Latinx or Black populations, whereas 71% of unlicensed outlets in 2020 were in low-income tracts, and more unlicensed outlets were in predominately Latinx tracts, high poverty and high unemployment tracts, and tracts with more single female-headed households.
CONCLUSIONS: Neighborhood-level analyses are an important first step, but more data are needed for comprehensive evaluations of social equity programs-from individual businesses to the communities living nearby-to understand the impacts on low income and BIPOC populations.
Source: ncbi 2