Study: Most Americans in Legal States Express “Positive Perceptions” of the Cannabis Marketplace

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Adults residing in states where retail marijuana sales are legally regulated tend to hold a positive impression of the marketplace, according to data published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Investigators affiliated with the University of Waterloo, School of Public Health in Canada surveyed 5,530 respondents residing in Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Authors reported: “The current findings suggest generally positive perceptions of the legal cannabis market. Most respondents, including frequent cannabis consumers, perceived legal cannabis to be of equal or greater quality and convenience, and as safer to buy and use than cannabis from illegal sources.”

Commenting on the study’s findings, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “This data once again affirms that most voters do not experience ‘buyer’s remorse’ following marijuana legalization. In the minds of most Americans, these laws are operating as voters intended and in a manner that is consistent with their expectations.”

Armentano further acknowledged that no state that has legalized the use of cannabis for either medical or adult-use purposes has ever repealed their law.

Although some respondents in the study expressed concerns that legally sold cannabis products tend to be more expensive than those available in the illicit market, most also acknowledged that prices typically fall over time as the market matures. Overall, respondents were likely to think most favorably about the marketplaces in the jurisdictions where cannabis had been legal the longest.

The findings are consistent with prior studies finding that most Americans believe that the enactment of marijuana legalization policies has been successful.

An abstract of the study, “Consumer perceptions of ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ cannabis in US states with legal cannabis sales,” appears online here.

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