CHI Releases New Study on Legal Marijuana

The Colorado Health Institute has released a new study on the policy successes and setbacks of legalized marijuana sales in Colorado.

The CHI research brief – “Legal Marijuana Coming Into Focus: An Analysis of Colorado’s Evolving Landscape” – reports that the size and scope of Colorado’s marijuana market is beginning to come into focus in this second year of legalization.

CHI’s analysts identified six policy lessons from Colorado’s first-out-of-the-gate experience:

  • “Seed to sale” works, but only when it’s used;
  • Legalization has led to neither  economic boom nor economic doom;
  • Marijuana revenue is not Rocky Mountain high;
  • Bring in the banks or bank on trouble;
  • We know what we don’t know about health.

Along with the full report, you can also read a blog by lead researcher Sara Schmitt, director of community health policy, for high-level takeaways from the paper. For a historical look at legalized marijuana in Colorado, check out last year’s paper.

Besides diving into the details of legal marijuana, members of the CHI team are attending meetings both in Colorado and on the east coast.

Michele Lueck, president and CEO, is traveling to Baltimore to represent Colorado at a panel being held by the National Governor’s Association. The panel will include representatives from all State Innovation Model (SIM) award states. Colorado has been awarded a $68 million SIM grant from the federal government to integrate physical and behavioral health.  You can read the proposal here. This gathering of SIM awardee states will provide an opportunity for shared learning.

Policy analyst Allie Morgan will attend the Rocky Mountain CitySummit at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel on Thursday. The event will bring together more than 600 elected officials, business executives and civic leaders from the eight Rocky Mountain states to discuss issues facing cities. These discussions will be helpful for Allie as she continues to conduct research for an upcoming CHI report on built environment.

Have you been reading our weekly insights? Each week, a CHI analyst chooses a topic area to analyze and writes a quick read perfect to enjoy while on the train or in between meetings. The latest insight by policy analyst Jessica Fern analyzed adolescent physical health. 

Tamara is a Policy Analyst at CHI.